Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Regular readers of "Blue-Grey" may rememer me mentioning this Barnacle Goose before.

It has (since we've been in Reading, anyway) always hung out with the large flocks of Grey and Canada geese on the Thames at Caversham. This week, it has been joined by ANOTHER Barnacle Goose along the same stretch of Thames - maybe they'll stick around together amidst the mass of other Swans and Canada Geese?

Like the Black Swan on the Lea, in Tottenham, (that's a bird, not a boozer), we originally thought it had had its wings clipped, but that (like the Black Swan) became obviously incorrect, when we saw it flying over the winter.

Barnacle Geese are relatively small geese, much smaller than the large, dominant, alien Canada geese. They are more of a northern goose, and often are to be found on fields and marshes around our coasts, so to see this goose here is quite rare.

I assume it has escaped from the local Child Beale Bird Centre at Pangbourne, rather like the Carolina Wood Ducks and Mandarin Ducks I saw on this part of the Thames during my boating holidays with my father, but I can't be sure, as this bird certainly CAN fly, (away, should it feel the need).

Barnacle Geese are so named because in 'days of yore', sailors thought that these geese hatched from Barnacles.

Don't ask me why.

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