Geese in numbers being stopped from congregating.

Hi, I live on the very edge of suburban Leeds and every year, for the last five - six years, the village has been mesmerised by the arrival of Pink-footed, Canada and Greylag (plus a random white one). It began as a few hundred but it has grown substantially to almost 2,000 over the years. It is fantastic and something the majority of residents very much look forward to. The Geese drop in briefly at Springtime but as Autumn looms they arrive in ever increasing numbers over an approximate 6-8 week period as the local landowner has created - unwittingly or not - the perfect habitat for them. As soon as the crops are harvested then in they come. They spend the majority of the day in the field, or at nearby Fairburn Ings, and then as the light fades they make their way onto the lake, which said landowner extended under the premise of 'irrigation' for his berry business. It is quite fascinating to watch them and I have spent many many hours doing just that. A couple of geese will make their way from the flock and head to the lake. After about twenty minutes another pair will do the same and that carries on until it is almost dark and then a couple, or three, will head back to the flock and up they all go. The sky is just full of them, and the noise!! Unbelievable! Honking, feathers, beating wings, it is truly magical. Between 7-8am the following morning they're all up again - it is a fantastic wake up call as they head off towards the fields and Fairburn Ings. Then suddenly they're all gone and set off on their migration. This Spring the landowner began to scare them off - he fired his gun at them, and of course, eventually, they got the message, but they were leaving anyway. During their time away he has built an ornamental bridge to go over his 'irrigation' lake. And this has obviously hindered them landing there. Now it is complete bedlam, they have no idea what is happening, they have nowhere to land and they're flying around making the most dismal noise until they all turn away. How can this happen? I thought migratory paths were protected and not to be messed with, but I'm no expert, I just love them to bits. Can the farmer do this? Thanks for reading xx
  • Sorry that you haven't received any replies to your question Christine ... I am no expert in these matters but have googled the subject & there are many websites stating that he is perfectly within his rights to deter Geese from his land, including using firearms, unfortunately!  But there are restrictions for actual shooting of game & birds ... see Countryside Alliance website for all these & dates of open & closed seasons!

    Trust this info is of some help!

     

     2013 photos & vids here

    eff37 on Flickr

  • In reply to WendyBartter:

    Thank you so much for your efforts and reply Wendy. It is heartbreaking to see them go but at least if they find somewhere else a little friendlier then they will not be subjected to being shot at.

  • In reply to ChristineS-756978320:

    From what you say the farmer seems quite within his rights to scare the birds away wether we like it or not.We get geese,mainly Greylag and Canada,doing similar to your geese in our area just a few miles north of you.When geese are feeding they do make an awful mess on the ground with their webbed feet and they are quite heavy birds.Over time they can pollute the ground making unsuitable for grazing stock.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can