15 July 2012

Geese Roundup

The Greylag Goose is a very common resident breeding bird here in Orkney with the numbers increasing in the winter with the arrival of birds from further North.

At this time of the year we go to an area on West Mainland to catch and ring some of the resident geese while they are moulting and unable to fly off. As well as the usual metal ring the geese are fitted either with an Orange neck collar or a White Darvic ring on the leg if they are too small to take a neck collar.

Both coloured rings allow for identifying individual birds without the need for recapature, all you need is a telescope or binoculars if they are close enough. The advantage of a neck colour is that these birds spend either a lot of time on the water or wading around the edges of water so their legs are hidden from view making individual identification from leg rings rather difficult.

Most of the geese ringed to date appear to stay fairly close to their breeding territories but a small number have been seen wintering in East Anglia!!

Saturday 7 Jul 12

This afternoon nine of us went to two sites and ringed a total of 143 geese, 100 geese at the first site and 43 at the second.

Tuesday 10 Jul 12

This evening five of us made a return visit to the second site and caught and ringed another 42 geese.

Some of the geese waiting to be released

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