Posts Tagged ‘Flying V’

Birds in the Mists of Time

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Manchester has been clouded in thick fog for the past two days making my morning runs quite interesting. Yesterday I ran along the Manchester Ship Canal to Salford Quays and couldn’t see beyond 50 metres ahead of me. It was fantastic – the heavy fog muffled the sound of distant traffic and as I stopped to stretch out my very sore leg muscles, it was just me and tiny sparrows who were darting about busily preparing for spring.

Fog seems to bring out cormorants. On my return journey, I spotted three – two perched up high on the tops of lamp posts, the third standing proudly by the side of the canal. They are such mysterious birds. If they were human, I think they would been tall, lanky men with moustaches, wearing grey trench coats and standing off to the side of the room before disappearing without anyone noticing. Cormorants have a way of looking at you that makes you aware you have been seen yet you feel like you are being purposefully ignored. They are not regular visitors to the canal – they just appear when it suits them and blend into their surroundings so it is often not until you are standing next to them that you become aware of their presence.

It was like a scene from Swan Lake on Ice that morning – the canal was flat and glossy with flocks of white swans gliding noiselessly through the water. Every now and then one would lean its head into the water to hunt for food, sticking its rear into the air to reach the delicious delights down below the surface.

However, the highlight of my morning’s birdwatching was the arrival of a flock of Canada Geese, flying through the air in a V-formation. This sight brought flashbacks of two great 90s films that were highly influential to my childhood. Obviously there was the ice hockey film phenomenon The Mighty Ducks with their game winning tactic of the Flying-V. And I will openly admit to seeing the geese, laughing to myself (and anyone who was listening behind the bushes) and saying “Fly away home!” Ahhh… so many fond memories of renting that heart-warming film from the video store during summer holidays and watch Anna Paquin show her adopted geese how to migrate. Cinematic brilliance.