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Saturday 4 February 2012: Preening...

A bitterly cold and frosty morning, -7C when I set off just after 8am. Ferry Meadows was almost unbelievably perfect, every frost crystal sparkling in the sun - a million diamond scintillations. Despite the cold there was no wind, and it was good weather for walking.

Most of the lakes had frozen solid, and the waterfowl were hemmed into a small area, a melee of geese, mallards, tufted duck, pochard, shoveler, wigeon and teal. The plaintive whistling of the wigeon was flawless accompaniment to the icy scene and the low morning sun perfectly lit this preening goose, fluffed up against the cold.

When browsing the internet I found this poem, which I've slightly adapted for a more local perspective...

Resident Goose
By Belle Schmidt

I'm a wise bird, a sky bird, a wild bird and shy,
I'm a park bird, an ark bird with no need to fly.
I'm a big bird, a banded grey bird, eating grass and corn,
I love to honk hello to each new Colorado Fenland morn.
I'll never be a migrant bird, flying the trackless sky,
I'm a sleek bird, a fat bird, who hates to say goodbye.
I'm a tame bird, a local bird, swimming lakes and ponds
I love the Front Range Ferry Meadows view - why venture far beyond?
I'm a resident goose and step with waddling gait.
I'm a stay-here goose and have a stay-here mate.
No going south north for me; no unseen path to follow,
Only gravel paths: I'm no Capistrano Cambridgeshire swallow.


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