June 23rd   Leave a comment

There was a flock of 8 bar-headed geese around today. First reported from the golf course at Anstruther at mid-day and then later at Caiple. I went out twice to try and see them but failed both times. Not quite the disaster it might seem because bar-headed geese are not officially on the British list – these birds are almost certainly escapes from a wildfowl collection. They are on the cusp of becoming like Canada geese or even mute swans – a feral self-sustaining population in Britain – but not quite yet. The nearest wild population of bar-headed geese is in Mongolia or China and although they are spectacular migrants flying over the Himalayas to winter in northern India, there is no evidence that wild birds have ever made it to Europe. We have a problem with determining the origin of a lot of exotic wildfowl species that turn up – most global species are kept in captivity in Europe and they frequently escape – although coming up to you to feed on bread is a bit of a giveaway. Clearly it takes a lot of the fun out of the process of finding rare birds if they have just come from the zoo down the road rather than from the other side of the world. Bar-headed geese are very handsome birds though so I regret not seeing them for that reason.

Bar-headed geese at Caiple this afternoon - sadly rather unlikely to be from Mongolia, but I wasn't able to give them the bread test to make sure. Thanks to Jaqui Herrington for sending me the photo.

Bar-headed geese at Caiple this afternoon – sadly rather unlikely to be from Mongolia, but I wasn’t able to give them the bread test to make sure. Thanks to Jaqui Herrington for sending me the photo.

Posted June 23, 2014 by wildcrail in Sightings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s