Flypast at Sunrise


At this time of year we have the enormous pleasure of seeing Barnacle geese flying past our house as they leave their overnight roosts on the merse and fly inland to feed. Later, in the afternoon they return to the salt marsh or merse as it’s more commonly referred to here.

Any time between 7.30 and 8.00am, the first skein will appear, closely followed by the others. Some mornings, the light isn’t good enough to capture a photo worth keeping and as we’ve got storms forecast for the next few days, it might be a while before I stand outside at breakfast time while my porridge goes cold!

I’m accumulating a number of poems about geese, all written over the last six years since we moved into this house ,which is in a prime position at the top of a hill and ‘on the edge’. Here are two of them …

Geese in Winter

sketching the glow of dawn sky

geese scribble their route westward

thousands – skein after skein

head for inland grazing

later –  they return

with their wild evensong

before settling on the merse

for another winter’s night


Solway Migrants       

Nearly sunset,

January sky soon to be a palette

for shades of evening light.


skeins of barnacle geese head

back to the feeding grounds.

Solway coast, haven to migrants

from Svalbard, welcomed,


Their journey

free from barriers, unimpeded

by politics, prejudice.


Author: annedunford

Now fulfilling my ten year old self's ambition to become a writer - it's taken many years and a long,long winding road to get here! After a lifetime spent teaching, making miniature ceramics, returning to teaching and training, I am now indulging in a lifelong ambition to write!

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