Out of the North Sea overcast one day last week, a flight of planes made repeated runs on a sandbar called Grosser Knechtsand and unloaded 45 bombs. The explosions sent clouds of wild geese honking into the air, more frightened than injured, for the bombs contained only light training charges.

Nevertheless, honks of protest went up all over West Germany. Not only is Knechtsand a wild goose sanctuary near the fishing and resort town of Cuxhaven; it is also regularly visited by a game warden and a band of volunteer bird lovers, aged 10 to 68, who are helping build up...

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