Todd's Canada Goose

Saturday 16th January 2010

The Canada Goose showing characteristics of the race Branta canadensis interior, commonly known as Todd's Canada Goose, was in the Rushy Pen at Slimbridge WWT this morning (photos in poor light above and below), before flying off with other Canada's at 9:40am. This is a very interesting bird, showing several features which together set it apart from its feral counterparts. My observations of the differences are: it is slightly smaller with a more slender neck; shorter bill; narrower white cheek patch; the black on the chin is linked to the black of the neck; at the bottom of the neck at the back, the black joins the brown of the mantle, with no white in between; the pale fringing on the scapulars etc. is much less distinct; the tertials are more contrastingly paler, giving the effect of a pale wing panel; it has a pale eye-ring; and if these features don't help - it has a limp!

Other sightings this morning included:
Sharpness Docks
A female/immature Black Redstart (below) on the roof of the empty metal-clad building near the last house;

Frampton, Court Lake
A red-head Smew, four Red-crested Pochards (2 m,2f) and a Ruddy Duck among the 100's of waterfowl - most of the surface of the lake is still frozen;

In the garden today birds included a Lesser Redpoll, four Goldfinches, eight Greenfinches, six Chaffinches, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, two House Sparrows, a Song Thrush, and five Blackbirds.


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