Greylag geese are pretty common in UK. These two have taken up residence on Knutsford’s Moor Pool.
One of the benefits of a small town such as Knutsford is that it you can relatively easily walk out into the countryside. Here we came across hundreds of geese in a grassy field, all feeding away.
The greylag geese in the foreground were somewhat outnumbered by the Canada geese in the background. According to the RSPB, these birds are probably resident, although there are migrant populations up in Scotland. These large birds have characteristic pink legs, orange bill and interestingly patterned plumage.
Another mass of migrated birds we recently found at Cley and Salthouse Marshes in Norfolk was these Brent Geese. The white patch on the neck is distinctive of this bird.
These appear to be dark-bellied Brent Geese, which migrate back to their breeding grounds in the tundra of northern Siberia via the Baltic in April. The other sort are light-bellied, and these migrate the other way, to Iceland and then Canada.
According to Wikipedia these are also known as Brant Geese, after the genus Branta. Apparently, the Brent Oilfield, off the Shetland Isles, is named after these geese.
Whilst we were watching, these geese stuck together, occasionally flying off in unison to a nearby field, almost taking turns with a herd of cows to feed on a particular area. Maybe there is some synergy there.
What was this unusual pair of ducks or geese with eye patches, a ring around the neck and attractive variegated wing colouring, an unusual sight on the lake in Tatton Park?
It seems that they are Egyptian geese, related to the more common shelduck. Egyptian geese were originally introduced into the UK as an ornamental species and now established in the wild.