Departure !

by Mr. Masanao SATO

At the west end of Bibai City and beside Ishikari River, there is a small lake of 25 hectares.In spring and autumn every year,  at the most, over 70 thousand wild geese, the national natural monument,  visit there. Over 100 kinds of migratory birds can be seen there through the year. With the marsh and the pastoral scenery around the lake, the original  image of the scenery in Sorachi Sub-prefectural area can be felt around the lake called Miyajima-numa.

The national natural monument wild geese leave Miyagi Prefecture where they wintered and arrive in Lake Miyajima-numa in the middle of April through the beginning of May. They eat up the picking of the crops in paddy fields around the lake and stock the power for several weeks before their departure to the far east of Russia. In Autumn, they take the young peers and visit the lake again heading to the place of wintering. Approximately four thousand km journey is completed twice every year.

  The academic name and the English name  of wild geese include " white front" which means the characteristics of white feathers from around the joint of the bill to the forehead. the adult wild geese have white forehead and black stripe on their belly. As this photo was taken in spring, the wild goose does not have the stripe and seems to have been born last summer.


 The wild geese take off for their breakfast in the morning and come back to the lake for sleep in the evening normally but just before their departure for the long journey, they come back to the lake even in the afternoon sometimes.
 The number of the wild geese to take off may be fewer than in the morning or evening but the scene can be seen so rarely in one season that the photo chance is very precious. .
 Accidentally, some curious birds can be seen in the lake.
  Wild geese fly in formation of V when they fly the long distance.
  Surfing on the air wave that is made by the top goose, the other geese can fly with fewer power.
 Hundreds of families that consist of several members compose the squadron like a dragon and fly across the sky over Japan!

Thank you so much, Mr. Sato!

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