Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Still nice to see 14th March 2017

The vast majority of Snow Geese seen in Britain are feral and cannot be considered genuinely wild. Feral birds now even breed in two widely disparate locations in Britain namely Hampshire and the Island of Coll in the Hebrides.

A flock of Snow Geese, feral but living to all extents as wild creatures, regularly tours Oxfordshire on an annual basis and has taken on almost mythical status. Some say the flock is based on the lake at Blenheim Palace in Woodstock but they can be found on other nearby water bodies such as Dix Pit and Farmoor Reservoir. It is even thought the flock tours other counties in Britain and even other European countries across the sea but today the flock was residing on Dix Pit.

Despite the fact they are not wild in the truest sense they still present an impressive sight especially now the flock is so sizeable. Today there were sixty nine individuals, the majority, sixty one, being white while the remaining eight were of the blue morph and it looks like they have bred as there were one or two immature individuals amongst them. As they have been around for many years now and are presumably self sustaining I guess they are as near to wild as can be without troubling the purists amongst us.

Seen from afar they appeared as a white mass of bodies floating quietly but conspicuously on the still waters of the lake at Dix Pit. On getting closer to them they showed a modicum of wariness but only so far as to float at a discrete distance from the shore whilst I regarded them and they did likewise of me and certainly they did not show the extreme wariness of truly wild geese.

Still, it was nice to see them and ponder on yet another aspect of my interest in birds and how man's interference and meddling with nature, albeit relatively benign in this instance, has contrived to create such an anomalous situation as this.

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