Thursday, 1 January 2015

last of the christmas goose leftovers?

New Year's Day swept the cold still air away with fierce winds and grey skies. The water at the settling beds was rough and the Harriers- five all told- rode the churning gusts over the reedbed. A raft of Gadwall and Shoveler rode out the hard weather, bobbing up and down as the waves chugged across the back of the exposed channel, three Wigeon tucked into the group with them. All of a sudden a whip of about a hundred Teal lashed across the water, pushed out of the sheltering reeds by the Harriers. They settled again in the lee of the reedbed, and I then became aware of the Greylags. The geese, being larger birds, were more stable in the wind-current, and seemed fairly relaxed- half asleep they drifted down the current then paddled easily back up it. As the flock manouvred, one goose stood out from the rest. i could see it was a Canada, but it appeared smaller than the greys. It swam behind some reeds, but soon emerged and revealed it's very different structure. Short thick neck, square head, small white neck collar. I reckon it's a Richardson's, and like the Snow Goose at Welney, as plastic as they come. One of these days someone's going to put a tag on one in North America, and follow it across the Atlantic to some Home County duck pond, but until that happens, this pretty little bird will just have to be appreciated for it's looks not it's provenance.