More signs of Spring
Canada Geese are back on the lake again. As its name implies, the greater Canada goose is not a native species - in Ireland colonisation took place in the 19th century when they were introduced as ornamental birds in the grounds of estates and then subsequently spread to the wider countryside. The greater Canada goose lays five to six eggs, the young fledging in 68 to 78 days from the time of laying. In Ireland migration routes are localised within the country and between favoured feeding sites. Considered a significant pest on agricultural land, damaging crops such as cereals, oilseed rape and sugar beet, contribute to eutrophication of the waters (enrichment with nutrients that can upset ecosystems) where they occur and compete with native waterfowl for food and nesting sites. They are always a welcome sight on Lough Mardal nontheless as a sign that Spring is here.