Common cranes and greylag geese 2018 on migration stop in Linum (Germany)

von wirthstef

Migration stop Linum for cranes and geese, inflight of the cranes towards their night quarters

 

The area around the village Linum (Fehrbellin, Brandenburg, Germany) is famous as a bird refuge, in summer for storks (Ciconia ciconia), whereas in autumn cranes (Grus grus) and greylag geese (Anser anser) use the numerous wetlands as night quarters during their migration stop towards the Southern hemisphere. Many cornfields around offer enough nutrients, which the birds need in order to successsfully perform their long ways southwards. Besides these most conspicuous birds, also other species, such as common starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), stay for a while in that ecologically complex bird refuge.

The common crane uses diferent routes with different destinations, depending from where the groups started. Birds from Central Europe and Scandinavia (meanwhile often also from the Baltic region: Finland and Belarus) take the Western European route towards France and Spain, and more rarely North Africa. Details of that route can differ and are still topic of scientific evaluations. This is why organisations, such as NABU, ask people to forward observations about flying cranes to them.

The crane formations differ from those in greylag geese. G. grus flies in wedge-shaped arrangements, unequal angels or diagonal rows, all in order to reduce the air resistance and nevertheless having a close contact between bird specimens.

Climatic changes obviously influence the migration behaviors, for example of cranes. In that context, it was observed that they tend to return earlier back to their summer quarters in the North due to a warmer climate.

My footage was recorded on 13 and 14 October 2018. This week-end was considered unusually warm for the season autumn. With about 26°C during day time, these days must be formally named summer days.

In October, cranes usually begin between 17:00 and 17:30 with their impressive flights back to their night quarters at the waterside around ponds and lakes. Due to the intense sunlight and warmth on these days, in which I visited Linum, the spectacle differed a bit from the impressions, which I had during my visits in former years.

Cranes and geese covered the sky in greater numbers at the same time. I formerly didn’t observe so many geese in the air during the in-flights of the cranes. While cranes strictly were flying towards the watery areas of Linum, geese flew in all directions. Additionally may be due to the high temperature even in the evening, some crane groups seemed to feel comfortable feeding on cornfields close to the main street still after 18:00.

Berlin/ Linum October 2018
Copyrights Stefan F. Wirth