Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Red-breasted Devaluation

Geese in Essex - Red-breasted last winter and broods of Barnacles yesterday.

Just to remind you, here’s a photo of a Red-breasted Goose in Essex from last winter.  I saw it again yesterday, or did I? I certainly saw a Red-breasted Goose; holding territory on an Essex coastal marsh, with a female tucked away on a nest.  Last year this pair raised four young.

I was visiting an area of coastal marshland at the invitation of the landowner during a two-day tour of sites on the Essex coast.  The landowner is a farmer who ‘likes his birds’.  The most obvious thing about this well-managed land was that it was teeming with young birds; waders, geese and duck.  There were around 70 pairs of Avocets (many with well-grown young), 5 pair of Ringed Plover, 20 pairs of Little Terns, 1,000 pairs of Black-headed Gulls and many Redshank.  I saw broods of Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Shoveler.  The landowner operates a minimal disturbance policy and ‘discourages’ ground predators such as Foxes and Stoats. There were also many geese, including about 80 pairs of Barnacles and the pair of Red-breasted.  I saw around 20 broods of Barnacle Geese.  A fascinating site, but somewhat alarming if you want to think the Red-breasted Goose you are chasing is wild.

No comments: