Thursday, 20 October 2016

Stoned

Being a complete Goose nut, I am gutted to have (seemingly) missed yesterday's White-fronted Goose found by Dave Stone and Andy Bond.  And it's yet another species I've been expecting to come across during the last week (exceptional numbers on the east coast last week) but have missed out on completely due to work.  Just yesterday morning I said to James Mc that I've been expecting a grey goose or two with the Canada flock!

For quite a while White-fronted Goose was pretty much annual here, but presumably due to the recent milder winters and dwindling numbers at our nearest regular wintering site (WWT Slimbridge) records have dried right up.  My last on patch were in 2011, and I don't think I've missed any in the mean time.  The last one I saw here on 20th October 2011 was of the rarer Greenland race...

Greenland White-fronted Goose


My last Eurasian White-front wasn't long before that, on the unusual date of 20th May 2011...

Eurasian White-fronted Goose


Prior to this, one of my best ever grey goose experiences here was the fantastic flock of up to 15 Eurasian White-fronts that spent about a week with us back in February 2006...

What a sight!


I've not seen any photos of yesterday's bird, or been told what race it was - but due to the recent influx I'm presuming it was a Eurasian. Be good to know it's age too, adults are absolutely stunning birds in my opinion.

So what have I seen? Well the last two mornings up Beer Head I've been concentrating (even bringing my scope!) on this tasty looking stubble field...

Proof of my telescope on Beer Head!


There's always stacks of Linnets, Skylarks, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and House Sparrows here. Yesterday on top of that were three Reed Bunting, two Wheatear and a Yellowhammer.  This morning it was much quieter with nothing different.

Overhead at Beer Head, yesterday again was the busiest day with a fairly steady westward passage of Chaffinches, Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails, Skylarks and three Siskin. This morning just a couple of Siskin were among a much slower passage, but a Golden Plover was nice to see whizzing around...

Golden Plover


I thought this morning was going to better than it was, as for the first time in over a week there were Redwing around my house at dawn.  There's been lots of Song Thrush about lately, but apart from an early wave several weeks back, the winter thrushes haven't arrived here yet.

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