Saturday, 28 February 2015

New goose at Linacre.

I've been recording the birdlife at Linacre Reservoirs regularly since 2006, and in that time I've only seen Canada and Greylag Geese on the water. I've also had Pink-footed Geese flying over, and ever Spring a strange hybrid goose has appeared for a few weeks and then disappeared again (see here for a picture).

This morning, after a ringing session had been rained off, I went down to Linacre for a few hours, and spotted this bird swimming around the bottom reservoir, honking loudly.

Hybrid goose
At first glance, I thought it was a Canada Goose, and noted it down as such. After a few moments, however, I noticed it looked a little different, and grabbed a few photos. Looking closer, I'm now moving towards a hybrid Canada and Barnacle Goose.  This isn't as far fetched as it seems, because there is a feral flock of Barnacle Geese at Carsington Water, and a mixed Canada and Barnacle Goose pair have bred and raised young at The Avenue Washlands in Chesterfield.
Other birds present today included 4 Great-crested Grebes (2 pairs; one on the middle reservoir, repairing last year's nest, and another pair on the top reservoir), Mallard (37), Tufted Duck (10), Black-headed Gull (31), Cormorant (2), Coot (11), Moorhen (3), Goosander (1 "redhead") and Grey Wagtail (2 together on the middle reservoir, with a little song).
The woods were quite quiet, but there were several Song Thrushes singing along with the Blue and Great Tits, and a Common Buzzard flew low over the trees being mobbed by the local Carrion Crows.

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