30 Days Wild – Day 12 – Goosed

A couple of quick moments to reflect upon today, grabbed incidentally during the day-to-day business of life.Back in April I did a complete count of all the birds around Heslington West lake. Among them there were 59 Greylag Geese. It’s fair to say, in the middle of a breeding season, that number is now pretty small.

This is just one group of the geese on the lake right now, and I make 57 in the photo (anyone want to go for a different answer?). That’s maybe a fifth of the birds around the lake. That’s just this one location too and doesn’t account for the birds at Heslington East, and scattered throughout the city. While I’ll never agree with the cullers, you can see why some might feel there are too many.

Other geese keep it more moderate in number. Here are a couple of the Barnacle Geese with their goslings.


The other moment that made today wild, and the more unexpected, was a Kestrel hovering across from the bus stop this morning. We see a lot of Sparrowhawks here (or rather two birds, regularly) but not Kestrels. Even more surprising it was being chased by two other birds, which I eventually realised were Pied Wagtails.

I cannot imagine a Kestrel would ever be a threat to a Pied Wagtail, but the pair were pretty agitated nonetheless.

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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