Thursday, 9 February 2017

Belclare Todd's Canada Goose

I visited Belclare Turlough on Sunday to try and finally see the Canada Goose that Eamon Delaney found here earlier in the winter with the Greenland White-fronted Goose flock. This was my fourth time visiting the site to try and catch up with this Canada. On the last two visits there was no sign of the goose flock at all. Like most turloughs in east Galway, Belclare has been without much water at all. This winter has been one of the driest that I can remember.

Thankfully I picked up the bird with the GWFs in the usual fields immediately to the west of the turlough, just below the Primary School. It looked good for an interior Todd's Canada Goose to me. It certainly was slightly larger that the adjacent flavirostris but didn't particularly dwarf them. It was also proportional longer bodied but not necessarily as comparatively as heavy. The neck was very giraffe-like especially when alert. It also had a good broad throat strap.

Unfortunately after 30 minutes the flock became increasingly stressed by an extremely noisy passing convoy of rally drivers and their minion boy racers in supped up cars, some of which regularly backfired mimicking gunfire. The flock took to the air and circled the site several times and looked like they were keen to return to the same fields to resume feeding. Not unsurprisingly the constant barrage of noise eventually drove the birds away from the site and were last seen flying high and to the west.

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