The ducks at Greenhead Park lake have been joined by some more feathered visitors.
A pair of Canada geese have made the lake their home to raise a family of six goslings – while a pair of coots have built a nest in the water to hatch out their brood of chicks.
Reg Senior, of Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club, who took these pictures of the newcomers, said: “Although Canada geese have been breeding in the north of England for over 50 years, they only started getting more noticeable in the Huddersfield area as breeding birds some 30 to 40 years ago. This year is possibly the first time they have bred in Greenhead Park.
“It is, of course, nice to see them, but where they have successfully bred in London parks they have become a nuisance for some people because of their large numbers. Let’s hope they survive and establish themselves as a park feature.”
Reg, 76, of Honley, urged parents to keep their children at a distance from the geese, saying: “The young are, of course, very vulnerable to people and dogs, but the parents are great defenders of their young so show them some respect and keep young children at a distance is the advice. The geese, though, can always take to the water as an escape, their natural home.”
Reg said: “I’ve looked in the club records and we’ve no record of any Canada geese breeding in the park.”
“When they have bred their young up, they will fly off in the winter and you will get flocks of 300 or 400 birds,” said Reg. “A large number seem to congregate in the winter at Ingbirchworth reservoir.”
The coots have built an impressive nest on the Greenhead Park lake. “They build the nest above the water level,” said Reg. “Here, the water level of fairly constant, but on reservoirs when water usage increases, their nests can end up on dry land where they become vulnerable to foxes. They are also vulnerable to predators like crows, magpies and herons.”
He said there could be as many as six eggs in the nest.
Reg advised people not to feed the birds, saying: “They are perfectly happy feeding on grass and plants in the water.”
Four years ago, the Examiner reported on Wilton, a Canada goose frequenting Wilton Park in Batley, which had its beak ripped off by yobs. The injured bird was rescued and recovered from its ordeal – while its story led to well-wishers setting up its own Facebook page.