Bird's Eye View of Bute

The Greylag Goose

The Original
The Original
(1) Greylag Goose
(1) Greylag Goose
(2) Fly United
(2) Fly United
(3) Family
(3) Family
(4) More family
(4) More family
(5) Summer plumage
(5) Summer plumage
(6) More summer
(6) More summer
(7) Greylag Goose
(7) Greylag Goose
 
 
 
 
 

Greylag Goose


Each year our island is a winter feeding ground for up to 4,000 Geese, mostly Greylags from Iceland and the North of Scotland. There are also a flock of about 200 Greenland White Fronted Geese.


These geese arrive in late September/early October as their home ground is frozen. They come via Iceland and the North of Scotland to their winter homes in Britain and Ireland.
They feed on the lush grass on Bute’s fields from their arrival until they leave around mid April. Sometimes we see Barnacles, Pinkfeet, and an occasional Canada goose but not in great numbers.


Some of the Geese are caught in their nests when they are Goslings and fitted with plastic collars and leg rings. These have letter and numbers on them which can be read with a telescope. It is important to get as many sightings as possible of these geese with collars and rings on so that the Wild Fowl and Wetlands Trust can monitor their movements.
The game is to locate these Geese and try to get near as possible to them as quietly and subtly as you can. This often means crawling up ditches, along hedgerows and behind dry stone dykes to get close enough. The past winter I have been able to read 40 collars and 4 leg rings. It may have been more but foot and mouth restrictions, (20-02-2001) meant that I had to stay on the road and take readings from my car or bike.
 

Also in the past winter we have one goose which has been coming here since 1992 and another from 1993 from Greenland and both have distinctive attachments to identify them.
Most of them do not have a long life as they are shot for game wherever they stay.
I would be grateful if any dead Geese with a collar or leg ring is found to please get in touch with me and I will attend to it, in fact, any bird with a ring please contact me.


The goose in my photograph had its leg caught in its collar. It was caught and the leg released. It was then placed on Loch Ascog beside some farm geese and has been with them ever since.
As you can see its collar number is SFB and was put on in Iceland.

Norrie Mulholland
First published in the Buteman ??-05-2001


The original image was by 35mm and I had to take a photo of a photo, so poor results


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