Went for a run through Willow Holt today, which was boggy, attractive, and quiet! The Eponymous Willows sport a few yellow leaves and look rather sorry for themselves. A Dunnock flew low across my path, and sat in a hawthorn next to the river.
I carried on my run, along the muddy path heading for the power station reach, and noticed a large flock of Mute Swans standing around in the wheat field (I think). A loud bang went off - the swans didn't move - and I saw a couple of characters in countryish looking jackets carrying a long pointy thing. A shotgun.
As I turned East, they picked up something big, and began to carry it back to a pick up. I waited to see what it was, thought it was a Pheasant at first. It turned out to be a Canada Goose. I think the farmers were worried I was going to report them for illegal persecution.
"Swans, they're protected. But these Canadians, well they've got to go."
Checking up, I now see they are regarded as vermin now and it is legal to shoot them. Still felt uncomfortable to see it done though. Tender hearted fool that I am! I hope they don't extend this cull to human Canadians, though I'm told they will probably taste infintely better than the geese themselves.