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Geese set up home on Ranworth wildlife centre roof

PUBLISHED: 13:20 24 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:32 30 June 2010

Anthony Carroll

Watch out! There's a goose on the loose with plans to hatch on the thatch.

A pair of nesting geese has become the star attraction on the Norfolk Broads after they set up home on top of a wildlife centre popular with bird watchers.

Watch out! There's a goose on the loose with plans to hatch on the thatch.

A pair of nesting geese has become the star attraction on the Norfolk Broads after they set up home on top of a wildlife centre popular with bird watchers.

The Egyptian geese are getting a perfect bird's eye view of Ranworth Broad and its human visitors after they built a nest on the thatched roof of the floating Norfolk Wildlife Trust(NWT) Broads Wildlife Centre.

For the last two weeks the female goose has been lovingly protecting her eggs and visitors and centre staff are eagerly awaiting the appearance of any new born goslings.

To help give visitors a unique insight into the lives of the nesting geese the NWT has set up a telescope on a nearby boardwalk which is focussed on the feathered roof top guests, which normally build nests in tree hollows.

And staff will be on hand to help reunite any stray goslings that hatch in the next few weeks and then get separated from their parents as they try to reach the waters of NWT Ranworth Broad from the lofty height of the roof.

If the young birds reach the broad they could soon be mingling with a rich variety of wildlife, such as swallowtail butterflies, great crested grebe and common terns

Egyptian geese were originally introduced from Africa to Britain as ornamental wildfowl from the 18th century but soon some of the birds then escaped into the wild where they started breeding - predominantly in East Anglia.

Matt Bradbury, Head of NWT's nature reserves and deputy director of the trust, said: “The name Broads Wildlife Centre has taken on a new meaning.

“We regularly get visitors to the broad who view birdlife through binoculars. But now they can just look up to see them.”

The only downside to the new guests at the centre is the damage caused by the geese to netting and thatch on the roof when they set up their nest.

There are about 900 Egyptian geese in Britain and females normally lay about eight to nine eggs with only two goslings surviving from predators such as crows and competition from other species of geese.


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