Egyp­tian goose has not spread

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

LEAD­ING on from the goose bar­na­cles last week, I have linked this week’s Na­ture Notes to the feath­ered variety, namely the Egyp­tian goose. The Egyp­tian goose is an odd bird with a pale head, but a big dark eye patch. It has pink legs and a dark red bill. The rest of the body has chest­nut up­per parts and grey­ish un­der parts. The birds also make a loud hiss­ing noise. They orig­i­nate from Africa and are pop­u­lar in wild­fowl col­lec­tions, and around a cou­ple of thou­sand free-fly­ing non-ringed birds are found across East Anglia. They have not spread quickly like other species of geese, but they do ap­pear to be pop­ping up in the South East and along the south coast of Eng­land on a reg­u­lar ba­sis, with a few in­di­vid­u­als be­ing seen for the last five years on or around Dun­geness and Rye. You need to look among the other feral grey geese to find th­ese chest­nut rel­a­tives. As yet the Egyp­tian Geese have not bred lo­cally, but if they did they would lay around eight eggs and the eggs would take four weeks to hatch and the young would have a black and white stripy pat­tern to them to start with.

If you have any ques­tions call Owen Leyshon on 01797 367934 or visit www.rmcp.co.uk

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