Friday, 22 January 2010

Royal Visit

LGRE, head of UK400, paid a fleeting visit to the Barnacle flock, currently in the sheep field at Willington. He click counted the flock and also kindly counted the red Darvics, noting the inscriptions of 20 of them.

"I decided to check the non-naturalised* flock of BARNACLE GEESE at
Willington, of which there were 337 of them and 2 Greylag Geese feeding on
beet in the sheep field. Some 33 individuals bore red plastic rings with white
letters, including inscriptions BA, LC, IP, BS, DP, IC, FS, CI, II, LS, AC, AL,
FA, JH, CA, BD, NU, DU, IZ and EV." [2 errors corrected. EN]

A set of 18 blank colour rings for UK Barnacle Geese

The Darvic inscriptions are actually seperated by a vertical white bar and are correctly signified as 'Red B bar A', for instance, read from the bottom up.

From the above record, 2 birds were ringed 6 years & 6 months ago as an adult and a youngster in July 2003. 3 adults were ringed in July 2004 and recaptured again in July 2007. 12 birds were ringed in July 2005, comprising 5 adults and 7 juveniles, 2 of the youngsters being recaught in July 2007. 3 birds were ringed in July 2007, all as adults. Just two of these 20 birds were recorded by another ring-reader here in October 2009.

The Barnacle Goose July 2007 catch - birds corralled for ringing

He, however, managed to 'scope just 13 colour rings; these were 'KS, KT, JH, AT, AC, BN, DH, DS, FZ, HX, HF, LL, LT'. These were made up of 1 adult (JH) from 2003, obviously something important in the hierarchy, a known female from the 2004 round-up, 7 birds first caught in 2005, 5 as adults and 2 as 'babies', with 1 adult (AC) picked out again by LGRE, and 5 birds from July 2007 that were full grown adults at the time.

Post-script: What is a "non-naturalised" flock? This flock's origins go back to the Solway (& Spitzbergen) in the late 'sixties and the ever increasing numbers have been living and breeding in north-east Bedfordshire since an inadvertent escape in the the 'seventies.
*BOU category C2 - naturalised established species, as evidenced here.

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