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Regular visitors will have noticed a decrease in posts to the HEMEL NATURE
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Thursday, 12 September 2013

HEMEL MEGA: Goose Galore - 2 EGYPTIAN GEESE, Large CANADA GOOSE Flock & First GREYLAG GOOSE at Piccotts End Pools.

EGYPTIAN GEESE at Piccotts End Pools.

As I approached Piccotts End Pools on the footpath from the South this morning I thought to myself 'please be something different here today, there's probably not enough exposed shore for many waders but maybe some interesting wildfowl, even just a Tufted Duck would do'. Then as I continued I heard the 'honk' of Canada Geese, which in itself is not unusual. But as I rounded the hedgerow to join the stretch running along side the pools I was amazed to see a massive flock of geese resting & preening at the pools. In fact, after many attempts to count them I can say there were at least 159 CANADA GEESE! By far the biggest count ever here, with my highest previous count being 18, only last week, & only 9 before that!

Accompanying the Canadas was a single GREYLAG GOOSE, which in itself is a good record as I have never seen one or seen records of any here before! I wondered whether this flock, including the Greylag, are in fact the usual wintering flock from the Water Gardens in town, & Hemel Cricket Club at Boxmoor, which haven't been seen since last Winter, & usually include a single Greylag?

Well to top this all off, as I started to walk further up the footpath to re-count the Canadas I saw two large, bulky birds heading straight towards me from North-West over the horizon. I straight away thought 'hang on, these are something different', & as they neared I saw bright white wing panels glowing in the low sunlight against the dull grey sky. 2 EGYPTIAN GEESE! They closed in on the pools then circled many times, lower & lower, looking to land & definitely attracted to the large number of geese already at the pools, though in the end they just weren't sure & headed off slowly SSE towards Gadebridge Park. This is only the second record of Egyptian Geese in Hemel, the previous record being 2 birds that, coinsidently, I saw flying off S from the pools on the morning of 18th of August 2004! Could these be the same 2 birds & this is a route they often use around this time of year? If so they must be getting on a bit!

EGYPTIAN GEESE at Piccotts End Pools.

[Note: Possibly the same 2 Egyptian Geese as seen at Maple Cross by Chris Bessant the next day, 13/09/13. Maple Cross is only 11 miles South of Piccotts End Pools & these birds were heading that way.]

EGYPTIAN GEESE at Piccotts End Pools.

At least 159 CANADA GEESE & 1 GREYLAG GOOSE at Piccotts End Pools.

GREYLAG GOOSE with CANADA GEESE at Piccotts End Pools.

Martin Parr

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A wonderful find and cracking flight shots Dan, great work!

Thanks Martin, I notice there were two at Maple Cross today, its only 11 miles S, the direction they were heading, I wonder if its the same two birds?

Martin Parr 
We have regular ones at ML, but don't think they have been seen for a while, so maybe they were on tour!!


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EGYPTIAN GEESE at Piccotts End Pools

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