Saturday, 31 March 2018

Two More Geese and a Glauc

The last day of March offered the Axe even more wildfowl variety, with two new geese for the year. 

This morning Ian Mc found a Greylag on Bridge Marsh, which remained in the valley all day. Late March/early April often sees a spike in Greylag records for us, suggesting it must be some sort of spring passage, although from where to where who knows...

Greylag Goose standing proud


Then this evening Tim Wright located a Barnacle Goose, the same one that Dave Helliar has seen recently in the Chard area...

Barnie!


As Barnacle Geese go, well let's just say it's not the best. This bird shows surprisingly grey flanks and belly, some brown in the black of the neck and breast, and a bit more white than usual in the head area. Nevertheless I still think it's a pure bird, just a grubby first-winter individual probably of 'suspect' origin. 

Yesterday, as you'll have probably already seen from other local blogs, Ian Mc scored his fourth white-winged gull of the year on the Axe. Thankfully this one I actually managed to see, a stonking first-winter Glaucous Gull. A proper massive and fairly dark one too - the best type :-)

As we reach to the conclusion of March 2018, some may find it interesting to know that thanks to two cold snaps, a decent flurry of early spring migrants, 11 species of gull and the whole host of wildfowl that we've seen, 136 species of bird have been recorded on the Axe Patch this month.  Pity the sea wasn't busier as that could easily have added another five or more.

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