The Mother of all Geese

Wild Bird Wednesday Greylag Geese
Greylag Geese on the Isle of Mull Scotland

Happy Wild Bird Wednesday :0)

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Wild Bird Wednesday

The Greylag Goose (Anser anser) is believed to be the ancestor of most modern day domestic Geese. It is the largest of the native UK and European native Geese and, to my eye, it is very similar in size to a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis).
This beautiful bird is officially classed as amber status in the UK, meaning moderate cause for concern for the population numbers.
In the South of England release of birds has been on going for a number of years to help re-establish their population with some success, but the population found in Scotland are from the original native stock and retain more of the natural behaviors of true wild birds.
This was taken on the Isle of Mull, the second largest of the “Inner Hebrides” off the West Coast of Scotland.
Another first for me on a really rather wonderful trip to magical Mull :0)

Shot with the my trusty Canon 100-400mm f/4.8-5.6 L lens wide open on the Canon 7D to get the shallow depth of field to give the soft focus bokeh of the 2 Geese in the background


19 thoughts on “The Mother of all Geese”

  1. Beautiful photos. Much more interesting than their domestic cousins. I read in the comments that starlings are not common? That’s surprising. They are everywhere here in the US where they are not a native species.


    1. Many thanks Jennifer. Starlings are not yet a real rarity in the UK, but their numbers are dwindling at an alarming rate, (faster than any other species I believe). When I was growing up they reached near plague proportions and the enormous flocks (murmurations) were a common sight. They are now seen mostly as single birds and not too often. They have been assigned Red status more for the concern about their future than for their current numbers:

      Here is how our RSPB defines the Red status:

      Red is the highest conservation priority, with species needing urgent action. Amber is the next most critical group, followed by green.

      Red list criteria
      β€’ Globally threatened
      β€’ Historical population decline in UK during 1800–1995
      β€’ Severe (at least 50%) decline in UK breeding population over last 25 years, or longer-term period (the entire period used for assessments since the first BoCC review, starting in 1969).
      β€’ Severe (at least 50%) contraction of UK breeding range over last 25 years, or the longer-term period

      Lovely birds and fingers crossed for their future 😦


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