Posts Tagged ‘Canada Goose’

A bright sunny day and a chance to do the weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my home patch. It has been a somewhat slow start to the year with sporadic butterflies and just two records so far of Large Red Damselfly (two weeks ago – which was an early date for this site) and nothing since. As I made my way down to the Tarn I found a female Brimstone and then by the pool a Holly Blue.

Holly Blue

 

Approx 6-8 Large Red Damselflies were on the pool and 2 pairs were busily laying eggs. A single Azure damselfly was also present.

Large Red Damselfly

Azure damselfly

 

 

 

 

 

This was to be the highlight as the remainder of the walk only yielded a single Green-veined White and a second Brimstone.

Green-veined White (1st brood Female)

The nesting season for birds is well underway and today there were young Coots, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Mallard around the Tarn.

Coot and young

Greylag Geese and young

Canada Goose and young

Mallard and young

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

 

 

 

 

A bright sunny morning and a chance to have a stroll around the Tarn. As I approached a bird flew across my path and headed out east along the water’s edge – A female Northern Wheatear, my second record for the site. Unfortunately, I was unable to relocate it and it probably continued out onto the adjoining golf course, a much more suitable habitat for this species.

 

There were a good number of geese present – 8 Canada Geese; 5 Greylag Geese;1 hybrid and 3 Egyptian Geese. It looks as though our Greylag – Canada pairing are back again together with one of their offspring.

Canada Goose

Greylag Goose

Egyptian Goose

Canada x Greylag Hybrid

There seems little evidence of nesting yet, although one Coot was gathering twigs. Interesting how sites vary, given that Keith and I had seen chicks at the Wetland Centre last Friday.

It was good to see the Tarn without its green covering and I hope that this will remain so over the summer months.

 

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Having a couple of hours to spare after an appointment in central London and having the previous day failed to catch up with either Brown Hawker or Southern Hawker Dragonflies at London Wetland Centre, I decided to go for a walk around the lake in Regents Park to see if I could remedy this.

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As usual, the lake held its normal array of waterbirds, including 3 species of geese, all present in good numbers.

Egyptian Geese

Egyptian Geese

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

One surprise was to find Coot that were still nesting. I located 2 nests, one of which had young visible.

Nesting Coot

Nesting Coot

Young Coot

Young Coot

On the dragonfly front, I was not successful with only Common Darter being recorded.

Common Darter

Common Darter

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

Canada Goose

Posted: June 27, 2016 in Birds, Natural History
Tags:

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A species introduced into the UK from North America, the Canada Goose has readily colonised park lake and other bodies of water. It’s expansion has been so successful that in many places it is now regarded as a nuisance and in some places control measures have had to be introduced to limit population growth.

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it is estimated that there are 62,000 breeding pairs with a wintering population of around 200,000 birds.

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Canada Goose

Canada Goose

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The weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my local patch. The weather is not ideal as there is a good breeze blowing but the weather forecast doesn’t look much better tomorrow.

On the walk down to the small pond there is not much activity but there are a few Large Red Damselflies on the pond and the vegetation surrounding it.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

A pair of Blackbirds are gathering nesting material from the edge of the pond.

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Whilst photographing Large Red’s a  blue butterfly briefly alights on the bush and its brown underwing identifies it as my year’s first Common Blue butterfly for the site.

Common Blue

A female Brimstone passes by as I approach the lake. Contrary to what I wrote last week, a pair of Canada Geese have bred although it is surprising to see that they only have one gosling.

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Our mixed Canada/Greylag pair have also bred (4th year) and have a small family.

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The main Greylag nursery still numbers 8 and they are beginning to look like much more like their parents.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Butterfly-wise it is pretty quiet. I locate another Common Blue and 2 Speckled Woods

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

But there is quiet a lot of Bee activity and Red-tailed and White-tailed workers are busily collect nectar.

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Returning to the small pond, I am photographing Large Red’s again when a blue damselfly puts in a brief appearance before disappearing round a bush. Location and date suggest Azure Damselfly but I cant rule out Common Blue Damselfly (ironically not the commonest blue damselfly on the site). I spent some time trying to re-locate it but without success. Hopefully this is the first of many and they will be more evident next week.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

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A bright sunny morning and a rare chance to visit Beddington Farmlands in the Wandle Valley near Merton.

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Beddington is a private site and only open to a few individuals for the recording of wildlife. Sewage disposal began on the site in 1860 as a form of fertilisation of the farmlands and the site consisted of a patchwork of fields and marshland. After the second world war it became a well known birding hot spot in London. But from the mid-1960s, the increase in sewage disposal on the land, the building of a sewage treatment works and the replacement of cattle grazing by horses all altered the environment to the detriment of wildlife. By the late 1970’s over half the site was occupied by sludge beds for sewage disposal. In an attempt to restore some wild habitat to the site 2 lakes were created in the 1990s. In 1998 a license was granted for use of the land for gravel extraction and land-fill and most of it was enclosed (on grounds of safety). The owners have continued to allow the monitoring of wildlife and habitat management but the site is not open to the public.

So a rare occasion for me to spy out this famous site. A group of 8 of us met our guide at the local train station and proceeded to the entrance to the site. Our first target was the lakes and here we had distant views of Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plovers.

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Also present were families of Shelduck and Canada Geese.

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From the observation point we made our way around the mound, which occupies the centre of the accessible area (the result of land-fill operations in the past). We saw Little Grebes and one Great Crested Grebe on the second lake along with a family of Mute Swans.

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It was great to see Common Swifts whirling around the sky as these seem to be becoming rarer in London. Suddenly another bird appeared, similar in shape but bigger and we watched for 5 minutes or so as a Eurasian Hobby chased the swifts around the sky. Both expert flyers and very maneuverable it had all the appearance of an arial dog-fight between fighter planes as they jinked one way and then the over. Eventually the Hobby swooped low and was lost to sight. Had it caught its prey and gone off to enjoy the fruit of its actions?

Avion común - Common Swift - Apus apus
Common Swift
Photo by Ferran Pestana (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ferranp/)

Eurasian Hobby/Falco subbuteo
Eurasian Hobby
Photo by Tong Mu (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mu_tong/)

Derek, our guide, called our attention to a butterfly which turned out to be a Painted Lady. This is a fascinating species which hatches in Africa and then migrates north to Europe. They can then breed in this country although it is unclear whether these migrate south again or are killed by the approach of winter.

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One of the great things about this site was that it was famous for it’s population of Tree Sparrow, which is found almost nowhere else in the London area. It was partly in hope of seeing this rare bird that I had come. Sadly Derek told us that from over 250 nests and almost a thousand hatched young in 2006 the population has crashed to 1 brood last year with 10 or so young and 3 nests this year none of which have produced young. It may be this is the end for this iconic species on this site since it is likely that all birds left are from last years broods and thus closely related and there are no nearby populations from which the population can be replenished. No-one is really sure why this has happened in such a short period of time. We didnt see any during our visit. It shows that even when healthy populations of a species are present, we cannot be complacent about conserving them and their habitat.

An interesting morning’s walk and thanks to London Natural History Society for organising and to Derek for showing us around.

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Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

A lovely spring Morning and a visit to Bough Beech.

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The first thing I noticed on arrival was the calls of Common Buzzard and up to 8 birds in the air at the same time. There has been a noted passage of Buzzards over SE England over the last couple of days – at least 16 had been reported from Bough Beech yesterday. It is possible that the calls were from a resident pair as they objected to the presence of other birds in ‘their’ area.

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On the reservoir were good numbers of great Crested Grebes and Tufted Duck along with a few geese and Cormorants. In the vegetation on the edge of the resrvoir a number of Little Grebes were also present.

LIttle Grebe

LIttle Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

A lapwing could be heard calling but was not seen. Also heard were a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and Pheasant. Grey Herons were perched in the Trees.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

A Kingfisher sped across the causeway but did not stop in view. Down at the Visitor centre the feeders had the usual selection of finches. sparrows and tits.

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Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Gold finches

Goldfinches

A Cuckoo (the first of the year) had been heard about 30 minutes before we arrived but remained silent during the time we were there.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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I have been putting off the weekly survey walk around the Tarn in the hope that I might get a warm still day. Well that sort of plan usually goes astray and as the survey week, which runs Wednesday to Tuesday, comes to an end I have to take what I get, which is a sunny day coupled with a 25mph westerly wind!

There was plenty of activity on the Tarn as the Geese stake out their territories with much hissing and squarking at anyone who ventures too close to the chosen spot. The Canada -Greylag pair were engaging in some courtship dancing which involved a lot of neck waggling.

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A Terrapin was sunning itself on an island. I think it is a Cooter species, possibly one of the Red-bellied Cooters. I really must see if I can get a firm ID on it this year.

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The Little Grebe, seen last week, was not to be seen but many of the residents were present including 3 Tufted Duck, the highest count here for some months.

Coot

Coot

Spring though is moving on. Many of the daffodils seem to have already passed their peak and other flowers are just emerging to brighten up the walk.

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No butterflies, bees or dragonflies yet but hopefully in the next few weeks we should start to see them appearing.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

After Keith and I have finished the tour at Lord’s we walk the short distance to Regents Park.

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In the enclosure we see a Male Scaup which seems intent on following a male Smew wherever it goes. This is most strange behavior and I have certainly never seen anything like it before.

Smew and Scaup

Scaup and Smew

We stop to see a young Grey Heron trying to eat a frog it has found in the water margins. Eventually it figures out how to swallow it.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

On the Lake there is a large raft of Coot.

Coot

Coot

There are plenty of Canada, Greylag and Egyptian Geese either on the lake or grazing on the lawns.

Egyptian Goose

Egyptian Goose

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

Just before we leave the park we pass the Heronry and can see that a few pairs of Grey Herons are already occupying nests

Heronry

Heronry

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

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Spring is almost here and its time to start the recording walks on the local patch. This year I am recording butterflies, dragonflies and bumblebees and this requires a weekly walk of 90 minutes or so following the same route until the end of October.

So off to the Tarn for this weeks walk.

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The green algae problem is still present. I had hoped that a cold winter would kill it off but alas we didnt get one and it doesn’t bode well for this summer if it is hot. Still the birds have started to return. Both groups of Canada and Greylag geese are back and it is good to see that our mixed pair has returned for the 3rd year in succession.

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

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I am pleased to find a Little Grebe near the western island. I can only wonder if this is the same individual as was here last autumn – He, or she, certainly favours the same location in the lake.

Little Grebe Little Grebe (from archive)[/caption]

The coots and Moorhens are gathering nesting material and I spend a pleasant 10 minutes watching a male gathering twigs, which he then passes to his mate who arranges them in the nest.

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And what of those butterflies, dragonflies and bees. Well I draw a complete blank, but it is early in the season and there is always next week!

Magpie

Magpie

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)