Friday, 20 May 2011

The Unexpected

As I wandered along the track towards the Black Hole Marsh 'island hide', my head was going through all the birds that could be in front of the hide.... Black-winged Stilt, Temminck's Stint, Collared Pratricole, Gull-billed or Whiskered Tern, Bonaparte's Gull, Citrine Wag.... etc etc....

If I did find one of the above birds - yes it would have been a wonderful surprise, but I would have been half expecting it.

Anyway, there was one Dunlin asleep on one of the gravel islands. I then turned to the largest gravel island...

Hmmmm...is that a grey Goose in the middle there?

As soon as I got on it my brain just thought 'oh it's bound to be a Greylag'. But then I noticed the black belly bars - at which point it stuck its head up...

An adult White-fronted Goose!

So although it is nowhere near as rare or appreciated (and maybe wild!?) as any of the birds I was thinking about finding here today - it was one massive surprise! And that is one of the reasons why I think birding - and patch birding in particular - is just so bloody brilliant!

A look over Colyford Marsh revealed just four Whimbrel of interest. Then at half ten, the 'wink wink' of a White-fronted Goose caught my attention...

I got some excellent flight views

He flew up and down the valley a couple of times, before appearing to land on or near Seaton Marshes.

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