Thursday, 9 January 2014

RBG On The CE.

Out of any time for lengthy blogging, but a quick record from yesterday of an interesting find off Cockersands Caravan Park on the Cocker Estuary whilst checking through a few thousand wildfowl when I came across a brilliant Red-breasted Goose. 

Red Breasted Goose Arkive 

There is quite a bit of edge taken off this discovery in that it is presumed an escaped bird, and is also presumed the same individual seen in the closing weeks of 2013 on Pilling Marsh on Saturday 2 and Friday 15 November when the bird was found to be ringed though my bird was drifting on the tide during observations and no leg markings seen.

The Red-breasted Goose is a popular ornamental wildfowl which can be found as an escapee in a wide range of sites from coastal estuaries to village ponds. However, young birds in autumn along the east and south coasts of Britain in company with Russian Brants are believed more likely to be of wild origin. Numbers of these birds with the Brants vary from none in some years, to up to six in others and are thought by some to be returning individuals. They have a restricted distribution, principally close to the Siberian Taimyr Peninsula, wintering in the south Caspian and Black Seas.

The first record in Britain was of a bird found in Middlesex in 1776, but there is a quite funny tale of a bird claimed to have been found in Breydon, Norfolk in 1805 which had been purchased at a market, cooked and eaten, when later one of the feathers from this meal was identified as that of a Red-breasted Goose. Apparently Breydon was a popular area for rare bird hunters and it is reckoned that the man who ate the goose had in all probability lost a considerable amount of money simply because he had seen the bird for sale in the market as a pretty individual and had wondered what it might taste like as such.

There are at least 70 records in Britain of Red-breasted Goose seen in circumstances which suggest wild origin.


Adam said...

nice goose

Warren Baker said...

Had a couple of sightings of RBG on the pasture here Pete, couldn't claim it was a ''proper''one though :-)