Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “folly painshill park”

Early Arrival of Egyptian Goose Goslings 2016


Winter 2015-16 has been a strange one with varying temperatures almost daily. Painshill park in Cobham has always been home to many types of ducks and fowl including Egyptian Geese.

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

A few facts worth knowing about them are that they are not actually geese at all but a cross between a goose and a duck. It has many duck-like characteristics, but it also has some external goose-like traits. It is the most widespread of all the African waterfowl. These old-world shelducks were domesticated by the ancient Egyptians, and were considered sacred , and appeared in much of their artwork. The Romans and the Greeks also kept Egyptian Geese in domestic flocks.They can breed all  year around, but usually breed in the spring or at the end of a dry season. It thus is somewhat surprising to see baby goslings in early February.The British population dates back to the 18th century, though only formally added to the British list in 1971 and are found mainly in East Anglia, in parkland with lakes. It was officially declared a pest in the U.K. in 2009. There is little surprise that Painshill Park has become home to them over very many years.

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

 

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

Egyptian Goose and Goslings .Painshill Park in Cobham. Copyright Chris Bushe 2016

 

 

A Dead Swan at Painshill Park. Why do Cygnets die?


Painshill Park is an amazing park in Surrey near Cobham just off Junction 10 of the M25 and well worth a visit. We have been regular visitors now for over 10 years but yesterday saw a sad sight of a dead swan, cygnet really. No clear reason why it had died, no injuries visible, weather no worse than normal .Just sad really. The swan was lying near the top of the main lake not far from the Ruined Abbey and plenty of other Swans and Cygnets were swimming around.

I did a little research to find out maybe what might have happened. Swans firstly tend to have few real predators except when young. New born cygnets are mainly lost to crows, herons, magpies, turtles, pike and large perch. Both cygnets and full-grown swans are also the prey of foxes and mink. Other dangers include vandalism, pollution, dogs and various poisonings. Who knows what happened to our cygnet?

The Daily Mail however do have an online story of interest. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-454255/Mystery-heartbreak-seven-cygnets-vanish-one.html

Seven cygnets have vanished without trace in a week from Cheltenham. The rangers report that the last time they indeed lost a cygnet of this age was in 1991. So the death of our cygnet is unusual. Other trawling of websites suggested this:

The cygnets may have picked up something on the migratory pattern, i.e., lead poisoning, botulism (although most of the time, it would be a more immediate death (within 24 hours if botulism is the culprit). Do the cygnets look like they have lost muscle (neck) control? Are they exuding a thick saliva from their mouths and exhibiting convulsions prior to their demise? These questions would lead to some type of poisoning.

 

Dead Swan Dead Swan2 IMG_6208IMG_6208 IMG_6199

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