Wednesday, 30 March 2011
A small flock of Greylag geese - with a couple of Canada goose interlopers - has established itself on the lawns around Saltaire's United Reformed Church, on the banks of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The RSPB bird guide is rather sniffy about 'semi-tame and uninspiring' southern British Greylags, saying they don't have the 'special appeal' of the truly wild birds that overwinter in Scotland. That may be true, but I doubt I could get as close to the wilder birds as I could to this cutie. S/he was nibbling the grass and roots on the side of the canal and quite unperturbed that I was crouching down with my camera. At first glance they appear to be 'brownish-grey birds' but close-up you can see the subtle colourings of the feathers, with their white frilly edges. I think they're very attractive and they have a lovely little head too.
It's just a pity that all the waterbirds round here get filled up with bread that people bring down to feed them with. It does them no good, and may even kill them. A lady on one of the narrowboats further along the canal was trying to improve the situation by selling bags of proper food, but she is fighting a losing battle, I fear.