Canada Geese Series
Little Bird Series
Kotoku (White Heron )
Barnacle Geese, 22nd December 2020, Thames Barrier, London.
In the weeks leading up to the New Year, on my walk to the studio, I quite often saw these Barnacle geese ( Branta leucopsis) flying fast and low up the river Thames. They migrate here from Greenland and Svalbard, Norway each winter.
It was once thought that barnacle geese hatched out of goose barnacles attached to ships at sea - their shells washing up on the west coast of Scotland in the autumn. This belief grew because goose barnacles have black-and-white stripes (like the geese) and the nests of barnacle geese were never seen as they lay their nests high up on mountain cliffs. As a result, people even considered the barnacle goose acceptable to eat on Fridays and during Lent, despite the Church's ban on eating meat at these times, because it was not 'born of the flesh'. The barnacle myth can be dated back to at least the 12th century.