E… is for England and…for Egyptian Geese
I was born in England; my ancestry is a mixture of northern European, Jewish and some maternal DNA from India according to a research programme one of my second cousins took part in a while ago. I was brought up and educated here but always felt a little like an outsider. There are many people like me in the world whose parents and ancestors have moved country; some have moved to the other side of the globe.
Nothing special there, people are restless beings like the birds, always looking for somewhere to settle, a better place to raise a family and stay happy and healthy. The politics of immigration are complex and I am not trying to make a point particularly but I am grateful that this country allowed my ancestors to settle here when they needed somewhere to go.
Egyptian Geese, Little Egrets, Collared Doves are but some of the flying immigrants who like it here so much they set up home and breed.
I for one am pleased to see them doing so well, bringing life and light into the natural spaces of the environment.
I am a huge fan of waterbirds, maybe because they are easier to identify than little brown things flitting about in the treetops, or diving falcons, who are nearly always silhouetted against the sky or hurtling through a flock of pigeons.
We used to go out bird watching most weekends, but have put our birding habits on the back burner recently, apart from two very special visits to the Somerset Levels this year.
The Egyptian Goose looks like a bird with a bad hangover with its brown circled eyes, but they have excellent parenting skills and the ability to find seriously nice venues to raise a brood of goslings, favouring the grounds of stately homes, grand gardens with water features and London Parks.
Credit: By Ken Billington (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons
The little Egret is a small white heron which was once a rare vagrant in this country. It is now frequently seen on the Somerset Levels and other wetlands. They breed happily on the marshy coastline in North Norfolk; another wonderful place to watch birds. We get Cattle Egrets too but they are rarer for the time being and only visit, unlike the litte Egret who has started breeding here.
Somewhere in a box on a shelf there are our photos of these birds, but it would take me all day to find them, so I have used photos from Wikipedia under the terms of their respective licences and credited them as asked.
Have you noticed new birds where you live? I would love to hear about them if you have.