Saturday, March 10, 2012

Springwatch: disgruntled geese in Battlebridge Basin

UPDATE, 2nd April: The geese have been able to return to the nest and are now nesting happily.

Battlebridge Basin on the Regent’s Canal behind King’s Cross is home to various waterbirds: coots, mallards, a solitary swan, occasional gulls and during spring and summer a number of Canada geese.

For the last few years, the same pair of geese have made their nest in a large barrel on the front of one of my neighbour’s narrowboats that was previously occupied by a palm tree which they pecked away until it was a small stump giving them more room to nest.

This week the pair returned to start nest-building, only to find that their barrel has been boarded up and they are not happy geese. I don’t blame my neighbours at all for doing this because geese are noisy and messy and bird poo of any kind does really bad things to narrowboat paint.

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But without doubt they are seriously perturbed, and have already made several visits to make sure that yes their normal pad is not available and they are currently adding to London’s homelessness problem.

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This morning they made another visit, watched by a pair of very pretty and more chilled Egyptian geese (thanks to my dry land neighbour, the astrologer and keen goose-watcher Shelley von Strunckel for telling me that’s what they were), which is when I took the video at the top of the page.

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I’m curious as to how this situation is going to resolve itself, but the noise woke me up at 7am on a Saturday morning so I’m wondering if they are engaging in a bit of psychological warfare to get my neighbours to uncover the nest.

If you want to visit Battlebridge Basin, the Rotunda bar and restaurant at Kings Place has a lovely waterside terrace, while the London Canal Museum also has access to the quayside as well as lots of fascinating information about the canals and how ice was brought here by barge and stored in wells which you can see in the museum.

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