The amazing spectacle of thousands of pink-footed geese dancing down from their carefully ordered vees in the sky is only one part of the autumnal spectacular on the Basin. The calls of geese when they take off are also part of the sonic landscape of the Basin at this time of year.
These contact calls are used by geese to provide their location to other birds in the flock and this is especially important at night when eyesight becomes less viable as a means of avoiding your nearest neighbours. As the birds don't ever seem to fly into each other, then the system must work. The temptation to think that they are passing other information, like where to fly or who will lead next, is difficult to resist but no one has been able to show whether this is possible.
We must not forget that there are many other species that are their own contributions to the overall sonic picture. The ever-present eider ducks are busy paring off and the resplendent males in their pristine suits of black and white with green and rosy splashes are cooing ardently to attract the females. Add this to the melodious whistling of the newly arrived wigeon and there is a romantic undercurrent to the sound stage.
A more wistful note is added by the curlew's warbling and piping tune, but the strident oystercatcher is more piercing and disturbs the harmony of the other birds. The thinner peeping of the redshank adds a highlight to the overall symphony of sounds.
The laughing quack of the mallard is familiar to everyone, as is the banshee wail of the herring gull that is always associated with seaside visits. The black headed gull call is, perhaps, less well known but a distinctive gurgling growl.
The influx of waders at this time of year is wonderful to watch, but they have generally muted peeping calls that blend with the sound of the rushing wings as large flocks take to the air in their acrobat rushing flight.
Spare a thought, however, for the other species that are largely silent. Mute swans are only noticeable by the whoosh of their wings as they gracefully swoop past. Similarly the heron only produces the occasional croak and the shelduck and cormorant offer few extra sounds.
Nevertheless, the next time you visit the Basin, stand still and close your eyes and listen to the sounds of the Basin.