Thursday, 17 December 2020

Todd's Canada Goose

 Last week, I was able to finally return home to Northumberland for the first time since early September. On Wednesday (the 9th of December) I had gone out for the afternoon for a break from uni work. I decided to look at Hadston Carr for gulls, and was surprised by just how many birds were feeding in the stubble fields there.

There were thousands of gulls, Starlings, Woodpigeons and Pink-footed Geese, as well as over 100 Whooper Swans. As I scanned through the geese, I picked out an interesting looking Canada Goose with the Pink-feet. I was struck by how dark it was and barely larger than the surrounding Pink-footed Geese. I quickly realised this was most likely a vagrant Canada Goose, and asked for some other opinions which all came back positive. With its dark brown breast and body, dirty looking chin strap and small size, the Todd's Canada Goose (or perhaps even Lesser Canada Goose parvipes) really stood out from the feral Atlantic Canada geese a few fields away.

I put the news out, and the goose was seen by good numbers of birders until it disappeared on the 15th. The same day a Todd's was reported from Norfolk, so it seems likely that the Hadston bird has moved south with the Pink-feet (although I'm yet to see any photos of the Norfolk bird to confirm it's the same). Hopefully the my photos below will give a good representation of just how different it looked from our more regular Atlantic Canada Geese. 






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