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November 27, 2011 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Flocking to occupy small street

They know exactly what they want. Unlike some, they are a hungry crowd – and they have a leader. He’s got them moving in one direction. Up one side of the street and down the other. Always stepping on the grass…and poking it. The sudden rain doesn’t deter them. They’ve traveled a long way to land here. In uniform step, they march.

Occupying small street

Quite unexpected

Local residents are being patient. Slowly inching cars past them. Keeping barking dogs inside. No one wants an incident. The neighbors are peering through windows and creeping out to take pictures. Just for evidence. (No one is going to believe this.)

Marching up the street and down the other side

We saw groups of them march down residential blocks near the lake during September. They had tolerated enough. They played  in the yard sprinklers. Well, understandable. It was hot and extremely dry. Those flocks moved on after a while.

This invasion was a complete surprise.

They know what they want

The drought is as bad as they have been saying. The migrating birds must have found their normal stopping grounds of rice fields, pastures, and farm lands dry and barren. We are just a few blocks from a wetlands, but the flock’s appearance means there’s too many birds for available marshes. So the leader moved his followers into the neighborhood. Tender greens. Bugs. Rain water in gutters.  It’ll do.

It’s only a brief stop.

The clouds are marching south, too. This flock is about an hour ahead of the strong cold front and the storm. The leader is paying attention. Seems to know with food scarce, his feathered followers will tire more easily.

Thank goodness for organic lawn management

Shortly the winds will switch. That means they will have a strong tailwind pushing them on to their final destination. Should make it by nightfall. Ready to occupy for the winter.

Observing a short invasion,

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

NOTE: Not a bird person, so not sure if these were White Ibis or some kind of cranes. (The neighborhood apparently feeds whatever shows up)


  1. Sunshine / Nov 27 2011 5:10 am

    Love your caption…occupying small street. Cute!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 27 2011 5:40 am

      It was such an unusual scene – that just doesn’t happen usually. Then they just marched up and down the street grazing. Thanks for visiting.


  2. Patti / Nov 27 2011 5:34 am

    Migrating birds are always interesting to see when they stop by for a snack. We had the same family of Canadian geese come by every year, right up to the kitchen door because they knew there was a treat waiting. Mom, Dad, and several little ones. Each year, a new batch of littles. I always wondered how they remembered.

    I think your visitors are snowy egrets. Which may be the same as white ibis. I’m not a bird person either, so I’m not sure.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 27 2011 5:39 am

      I love to hear the geese flying over early in the mornings. How nice you’ve been befriended. I thought they might be Snowy egrets – but not sure the legs are the right color. Maybe someone will know. Thanks for flying by.


  3. Snoring Dog Studio / Nov 27 2011 11:56 am

    There is something about birds walking, instead of flying, that cracks me up. And if I see them running, it’s even funnier. When I lived in Texas, one spring day a peacock flew into our neighborhood and started to hang around. It was the oddest sight. Even odder was seeing this huge bird fly and land on rooftops. One day it disappeared.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 28 2011 1:32 am

      You’re right about bird walking – and this bunch were walking with such purpose: an informal walk-a-thon? That’s funny about the peacock – they seem to get along quite well once they escape in S/SE Texas. There used to be a bunch that settled around Casa Mare Girl Scout sailing camp – they shrieked all night which just added to the haunted tales about that place. Enjoyed your visit!


  4. Homestead Ramblings / Nov 27 2011 1:32 pm

    Wow, interesting and unusual. How fun.


  5. Paprika Furstenburg / Nov 27 2011 3:46 pm

    Great pictures made for a fun post with your captions and play by play.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 27 2011 4:21 pm

      Wish I was a better photographer – it was a pretty funny scene -especially as the cars tried to get by without scaring them…inch by inch. Thanks for visiting


  6. katecrimmins / Nov 27 2011 3:52 pm

    Great post.


  7. Alternativepoet / Nov 27 2011 4:28 pm

    I really liked this post Phil,thanks for stopping by my site…:-)


  8. Bongo / Nov 28 2011 4:17 am

    How much fun, having unexpected bird visitors.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 28 2011 3:01 pm

      Hi Bongo. The whole block was amazed. What’s weird, the German, who has decided she must loudly defend the house from even butterflies, didn’t even bark at them – eyeballed them the whole time, but not a grumble or growl. Maybe she was in the generous holiday spirit? Thanks for stopping by


  9. Tilly Bud / Nov 28 2011 8:28 am

    Wow! What a great thing to happen in your neighbourhood. We had a swan crash-land in our street once. My husband took it to the nearest pond and it was quite docile.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 28 2011 2:56 pm

      A swan? How story book is that? Sometimes in the spring migrating birds fall out of the sky after flying across the gulf (exhaustion from strong head winds or front/storms cause them to detour) But a swan? There’s certainly a story in there. Thanks for sharing


  10. Elizabeth / Nov 28 2011 7:12 pm

    This is great – and the photos are awesome, too! 🙂


  11. NoJobJulie / Nov 28 2011 9:52 pm

    It’s all fun and games until they take flight and start pooping on the cars! LOL (maybe they’ve learned short stays are better to avoid the fall out from pooping on cars, fingers crossed on that). There are wild turkeys on the road by our summer place, they’re quite humorous to see running. Great post.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 28 2011 10:38 pm

      Hmmm. I guess it was luckily there was some the rain from the cold front to “freshen” the area. Thanks for adding to the discussion (and watch out for those free range turkey teenagers – some of them get pretty aggressive.)


  12. notesfromrumbleycottage / Nov 29 2011 5:54 pm

    We get a lot of Canada Geese in our area but they never make a march through the neighborhood.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 29 2011 7:33 pm

      We all kept waiting for them to fly – but they hung around nibbling for a long time. Trying to find a place to rest and feed/water has been very hard on migrating birds this year. Nothing is nicer than hearing and seeing Canadian Geese on the wing. Thanks for visiting


  13. literarychicks78 / Nov 30 2011 4:56 am
  14. philosophermouseofthehedge / Nov 30 2011 2:05 pm

    I think that’s the one – even though these beaks’ aren’t so curved. The color of legs and beaks is right and the wings did look dipped in ink although you can’t tell when they are just walking around. Not really sure what they were eating unless it was grubs, mosquitoes or tender grass. We see the Scarlet Ibis in the wetlands around the corner sometimes – they are quite striking. Record numbers of geese, ducks and other birds migrating through – and with fires and drought there’s no place for them to go. Thanks for checking for an ID. and joining the conversation.


  15. dogear6 / Dec 1 2011 2:49 am

    Great post. The Canadian geese do that in Minneapolis – they can close down traffic on a fast four-lane highway because they take soooo long to cross. Why were you late to work? Geese crossing. Everyone knows how that made you late.

    Thanks for visiting my blog and clicking on like – that was very nice of you.



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 1 2011 3:05 am

      Wow I’d like to see those geese crossing. That’s quite a bit of confidence those guys have.Thanks for visiting and adding to the conversation


  16. The Hook / Dec 1 2011 8:56 pm

    What a cool moment to capture! Nicely done.


  17. Ricki / Dec 4 2011 6:15 am

    Thanks for sharing. They look exactely like White Ibis.
    Every year we have visitiors from Sweden in our Sieg medows, a flock of Canada Geese.
    The first year I discovered them, there were six of them, this year I counted 25.
    I think they tell the others how beautiful life is here and each year will be accompanied by more.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2011 4:30 pm

      I think you are right. Funny how they seem to find great locations and spread the word.Thanks for flying by and perching to comment.


  18. Ricki / Dec 4 2011 6:24 am

    Oh, I forgot to tell. In Düsseldorf where my son works, Canada Geese are living in a park. They are the rulers there and the traffic stops when they waddle across the street nearby. They come very close, because they are not shy.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Dec 4 2011 4:35 pm

      I understand it’s very pretty there. Those Canadians! Just as cocky and confident there as here. I love those geese guys. Thanks for adding to the conversation


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