Wednesday, 13 January 2021

A dark wet misty day, but the tatty old hybrid goose on the Serpentine has seen worse in its long life.


The main story and the next three pictures come from Virginia. For some time she has been keeping an eye on three Egyptian Geese in the Diana fountain enclosure, a pair and an extra male who has been constantly beaten up by the principal male, and now has an injured right leg and missing feathers.


After a particularly savage attack Virginia decided that the only thing to do was to get the victim removed to a more peaceful place. So this afternoon she and her friend Jon set out to capture him. Jon succeeded and put the goose in a cardboard box -- which he had to unfold with one hand while holding the bird with the other.


As it happened, Alberto and Enessa from London Wildlife Protection, who had also been alerted,  arrived on the scene just after Jon. They bore the bird off to the excellent Anita to be looked after until he recovers. On the way the box disintegrated in the rain and there was a hasty search for another. Here is the Egyptian at Anita's place. Eventually he will be taken to a wildfowl sanctuary.


Trios are not uncommon with this species, as with the smaller ducks. There is another on Buck Hill.


In wet weather when there are few people in the park, geese can come up and graze on the Vista. The rain has turned this area almost into a marsh.


A pair of Mute Swans were courting ...


... and Tufted Ducks preening on the Serpentine.


Someone with a bag of bread caused a feeding frenzy.


The pigeon-eating Lesser Black-Backed Gull trotted around seeking whom he might devour.


Jackdaws and a Magpie perched on the Henry Moore sculpture.


Two Carrion Crows enjoyed spinning the weathervane on the Lido restaurant.


By the time I found the Kingfisher it was almost dark, and it was a long way off so this is terrible picture.


A Robin sang beside the Long Water ...


... and a Wren chattered at an intruder.

12 comments:

  1. Hi Ralph

    Good seeing you today.

    Main credit for the Egyptian rescue goes to the wonderful Alberto and Enessa from London Wildlife Protection who arrived on the scene just after I did. All I had to do was catch the poor chap, but they then took him (a 30 minute walk in the rain) to Anita's in the cardboard box(es)

    Jon

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    1. Thanks. I've put this in the text. A fine combined operation, in which no park officials were involved.

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    2. Talking of lack of park officials action, I never got a response from the Park Management Team after I wrote to them to plead for the future of Bluebird Boats. Just the courtesy of a reply would have sufficed!

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    3. I long ago gave up the hope of getting any sense from them, let alone sympathy.

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    4. I actually did get an answer from the Manager of Hyde Park a while ago, which I reglected to tell you all about because it was inconsequential legalese.

      Well done Virginia, Jon, Alberto, Enessa, and Anita! Your kindness is an example and a cause for joy and gratitude.

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    5. Indeed. So much good is done by volunteers.

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    6. Unfortunately I won't be doing my WeBS count as BTO have asked us not to travel to do it, but as you're in the park anyway it won't make any difference for you.

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    7. It's well known that standing by yourself on the edge of a lake gives you the dreaded coronapox.

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  2. Lovely to see the gaggle of geese on the "marsh". Looks somehow more natural. Would in more normal circumstances be looking forward to seeing several hundred wild geese in Norfolk in a couple of weeks time, with Holkham a real delight for these birds. Sadly like much of life postponed for the time being!

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    1. I'm doing my WeBS count on Monday (always a day late to avoid weekend crowds), but at a guess from what I've seen I expect about 400 Greylags and 300 Canadas --though this can change overnight. The park attracts more big geese than you'd expect because of its large area of lawns. The areas near the water never need mowing or maintenance because the geese take care of that, and add their own fertiliser.

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  3. I saw that hybrid at the weekend - what do you think - greylag x canada?

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    1. Yes, exactly that. There was a whole family of them, and this one is the last survivor.

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