Friday, February 26, 2010

Its a Gippo Goose........

The first Shetland record of Egyptian Goose was seen by George Petrie at Ocraquoy (Fladdabister, south Mainland) yesterday before flying off. It is currently in category C1 and E* of the British List. Although the nearest sustainable breeding populations in Britain are in East Anglia, there is evidence of some movement by this species in January to March, especially in hard weather, while nearby Denmark and the Netherlands also have feral populations. The species is not currently on the Scottish List (except in Category E) but this bird is a candidate for Category C vagrant status. However, its origins will no doubt remain the source of debate for some time.

Today it was relocated by Paul Harvey at Seafield, Lerwick on the rocks by the sea. The text messages at 13:34 alerting us of this were as follows.....

"Gippo goose on way to Pullars Loch, Seafield. On rocks above sea 100 yds past Alan Wisharts house."

I arrived with Dave O and the goose was indeed feeding around the rocks. Unfortunately it flew off shortly thereafter heading for Sound Farm. 

Dave O & I relocated it in the snow covered fields below the Sound Farm and sent the following text message out at 13:54......

"Gippo now in field below Sound Farm."

We left it there as others started to arrive. Shortly thereafter it returned to the rocks along the shore.

"Egyptian Goose now half way between tesco and wishart house in rocks to east of road."

This is what it actually looks like - via a link to one of Jim Nicolsons excellent photos on the Nature in Shetland website.

* the British Ornithologists Union categorization of C1 is a Naturalized introduced species – species that have occurred only as a result of introduction, e.g. Egyptian Goose.
Category E Species are those that have been recorded as introductions, human-assisted transportees or escapees from captivity, and whose breeding populations (if any) are thought not to be self-sustaining. Species in Category E that have bred in the wild in Britain are designated as E. Category E species form no part of the British List (unless already included within Categories A, B or C).

Download the British List at the BOU Website and the key to the Species Categories.


  1. Oh, wow!!! Egyptian goose - well done to George and thank you for reporting it, Kev!!! x

  2. JUst spotted 2 Eqyptian geese near my home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Had never seen this type of bird before. took pictures and the able ti ID them via online search. Beautiful birds!
    Kathleen Casey

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