A new breeding “colony” of greylags appeared in Glen Gairn in the early 2000s. In an effort to determine where these birds may have originated from and where they winter, an effort was made in summer 2008 to catch and neck collar some of the goslings. To cut a long story short, when we approached the family crèche of about 40 birds in mid July, they nearly all used that basic fundamental skill and ability known to most birds as flight and merrily took off and flew around and away. There were however 2 stragglers which we managed to catch and collar. On release one made a u-turn and white water rafted away down the river. Both have since been resighted back at the breeding area in 2009 and in the last few weeks by several observers still together at Tarland, c15km away from their breeding grounds.
Photos by Harry Scott
We chose the collar AFA because it is a local Aiberdeen Doric dialect word meaning awful or very while AFC is a local abbreviation standing for an “Afa Fitba Club” (better known as Aberdeen FC). As Skitts says if we could use the collar ARE we could have AFC ARE AFA…..but the letters R and E aren’t used on collars….shame.