Tuesday, 21 December 2010

No. 97

Egyptian Goose in Africa (David Fettes)
It was a dull though slightly warmer morning than of late at The Scrubs today. Comfortably above freezing, the sort of temperature that meant that you can go without gloves holding your bins without fear provided you dip your paws straight into the sanctuary of a pocket shortly after. This month us Scrubbers are chasing that magical 100 for the year list.

I had just flushed a Skylark and my companion, Roy, was on his phone trying to sort out a plumbing problem at his tenant's house in Tewkesbury, Gloucester. Suddenly, an Egyptian Goose appeared from out of the gloom in the east and circuited the southern edge of The Scrubs and the prison several times. Number 97! I pointed it out to Roy, but he had major flood issues due to a burst pipe to deal with. I started to text my girlfriend who is currently holidaying in Thailand to tell her of my news. She immediately texted back 'six geese a calling'. No sooner had I read it I heard geese calling. High pitched yelping. I swung around to see around 37 White-fronted Geese wing their way low overhead east. I could quite clearly see the black lines on their tummies.

These guys were part of an unprecedented major London-wide movement that's been occurring over the last couple of days. They were my personal first on The Scrubs but they were originally recorded for the first time last month when a party of six headed south.

However, the morning belonged to the Egyptian Goose. I never thought I'd live to see the day when a Egyptian Goose was statistically more important than a bunch of truly wild geese. It's a funny thing this birding lark!

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