Swans & Geese

BEWICK’S SWAN Cygnus   columbianus     Scarce passage visitor

Seen occasionally during the period 1987 to 2005. 
2004  Recorded for the second successive year. Two were found on Warley Moor Reservoir 27th March.
2005  Increasingly scarce in the area, this species was seen for the third successive year, when two birds were found at Leeshaw Reservoir on 10th November.
2011  Two birds at Silsden Ings on 17th November represented the first record of this increasingly scarce species since 2005.
BEAN GOOSE Anser fabalis  Scarce migrant and winter visitor

1987  One adult at Knotford Nook on 8th January.
1999  A single bird landed in fields on the moor edge at Paul Clough on 3rd October. The bird, thought to be of the nominate race A.f.fabalis (Taiga Bean Goose), was watched for 10 to 15 minutes before flying off west.
2005  A bird found with Greylag Geese on 9th January near Leeshaw Reservoir was present on and off until 2nd April. This constitutes only the third Group record. The bird was assigned to the race A. f. rossicus (Tundra Bean Goose), which is considered by some authorities to constitute a separate species.
photo: Sean Grey.
2011  Three birds flying west at Thornton on 4th April were accepted by Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union Records Committee as this species, but couldn’t be assigned to either of the European races. The fourth Group record.
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE  Anser albifrons   Scarce autumn/winter visitor
Seen occasionally during the period 1989 to 2008. Most recent sightings:
2000  The Group’s first double-figure count was received from Kex Gill Quarry, when 24 were on the main pool on 2nd October before leaving south.
2008  A bird was with Greylags at Leeshaw from 6th to 15th January.  Photo: Brian Vickers
2013  Two birds, thought to be albifrons, flew into Chelker Reservoir in the company of 166 Greylag Geese. This was the first record since 2008
SNOW GOOSE   Anser caerulescens    
Birds of unknown origin were recorded at Chellow Dean Reservoir in 1993 and at Denton in 1994.

1999  All 1999 records of this species came from Otley Gravel Pits, beginning on 23rd May, when a single Snow Goose was present there with the resident Canada Geese; this bird appears to have remained there until 30th. On 13th June, another (or the same) single bird was seen again with the Canada Geese and also in the compant of a Barnacle Goose. A white-phase bird seen on 9th July was joined by a blue-phase bird by 18th, both of these birds were present on 4th, 7th and 9th August, the latter date providing the year’s final sighting of this species.
BARNACLE GOOSE   Branta leucopsis   Probable escapee and uncommon passage/winter visitor
Seen most years from 1987 to 2010. Most recent sightings:

2012  Six birds at Leeshaw Reservoir on 7th January indicated their wild origins by promptly leaving (RHP), but one at Otley Wetland on the later date of 29th March might have been the feral bird of previous years.
2014  This bird, usually seen as a single in the company of other geese species and assumed to be an escapee, was once more reported. This time an individual was often seen amongst the Canada Geese at Warley Moor Reservoir (Fly Flatts) from June until September. It was also thought to be the same bird which was reported to be on Soil Hill on 15th October. Another single, again with Canada Geese, was seen at Thruscross Reservoir on 5th October. Last year, a record number of 44 birds descended on Leeshaw Reservoir and this year on 22nd September, a wild flock of 50 of this species was seen flying low over Chelker Reservoir. The birds rested briefly before taking off towards the west.
2015  A single bird, often associating with Canada Geese, was again reported from the south of the area during the first half of the year. It was assumed to be the probable escaped bird, featured in last year’s Report, and could well have been the one that flew into Stockbridge Nature Reserve on 30th August and seen at Lindley Wood Reservoir on 9th September.
2013 This bird has been reported in most years, usually as singles and often in the company of Greylag Geese and assumed to be an escapee from a collection. This year there can be no doubts, as an impressive 44 descended on Leeshaw Reservoir on 5th January, the previous highest count of these birds being six recorded at this location in 2012. Elsewhere, a bird thought to have escaped from captivity was seen on four occasions, once in the Washburn and the others at High Mill Addingham, where it had taken on the role of ‘guard dog’. It was often seen closely shepherding an adopted family of Mallards!                           photo: David Barker
BRENT GOOSE   Branta bernicla   Scarce passage visitor
1989  This is a rare species this far inland. One flew north-west at Lindley Wood Reservoir on 29th October, a day of heavy passage through the recording area.
1991  On 9th March, a single on the water at Thornton Moor Reservoir was seen to leave to the east, while a party of four flew west over Stockbridge on 3rd November. In neither case was it possible to ascertain the race of the birds involved.
1995  Five flew down the valley at Drebley on 13th November.
1997  An excellent find was three birds in fields next to Lower Laithe Reservoir, unusually for this species (at least compared with previous sightings), they remained for 11 days from 2nd February.
1998  A bird was seen amongst Mallards at Leeming Reservoir on 9th February. It was discovered in the morning, and gave good views at close range; however, it could not be relocated when the observer returned during the afternoon.
1999  This was an excellent year by local Group standards for this small attractive goose, with four sightings in all, comprising eight birds.
The first of the year’s sightings was of a single bird seen flying north over Bingley on 27th March, and was followed by two calling birds flying north-north-east at Lower Barden Reservoir on 27th April.  In the second winter period, three birds dropped in high from the east-north-east at Thornton Moor Reservoir on 2nd October, only to continue straight through, low over the reservoir. Finally two birds were seen at Paul Clough on 12th October.
2000  There was only two records of what ws possibly the same bird. An adult of the dark-bellied race B.b.bernicla was at Thruscross Reservoir from 5th to 16th March, and a single bird was present at Fewston Reservoir on 6th June.
2009  Four birds which overflew Snaygill on 8th December provided the first record for eight years.
RUDDY SHELDUCK   Tadorna ferruginea   Scarce vagrant and possible escapee
2009  A female with Greylag Geese at Lindley Wood on 6th January was one of the few recorded in the Group area, but could well have been an escape.
2012  One was present at Cononley Ings for two weeks from 30th June.  A scarce bird in the area, but an escape is probable.

EGYPTIAN GOOSE   Branta bernicla   Scarce visitor/possible escapee.
1987  A wandering individual was at Baildon Bridge on 27th May and a pair frequented Otley Gravel Pits between 4th June and 15th August.
1990  A bird discovered at Elland Gravel Pits on 25th February stayed until 21st April.
1991  A single at Leeshaw on 13th March.
1996  One was recorded at Copgrove Lake on 30th March.
1998  This unusual species was reported from Otley Gravel Pits on several dates between 30th March and 31st May. It was un-ringed, and was described as a ‘grey phase’ bird.
2002  There were two records: a bird was at Otley Gravel Pits on 15th May and another at Doe Park Reservoir on 13th August.
2003  On 4th January, one flew over Glovershaw, heading for Shipley Glen.
2010  Three were seen at Otley Wetland on 3rd April.
2011  Last year’s birds were followed up by two at Redcar Tarn from 27th August to 6th September (IH et al).
2012  A bird (considered an escapee), seen around Ilkley on many dates between 14th April and 3rd October (D&HK) may have been the one reported from Otley Wetland on 2nd February.
2013  There were just two reports. One was a bird seen with Canada Geese in a field near Leeshaw Reservoir on 24th May and another was a bird seen in the Ilkley area during 2012. This latter, considered to be an escapee, was still there on 16th June 
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