Egyptian goose has not spread
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