Sunday, 2 January 2022

Happy New Year

And what a start to 2022 the Axe Patch has had! 

Mid afternoon today Phil messaged with the pleasing news our ever-increasing Canada Goose flock had finally pulled in some small grey geese!   He had found three White-fronted Geese on Bridge Marsh...

A nice adult

My views were distant and in dreadful light, but as expected they were Eurasians showing stubby pink bills and squarish head shapes.  I had OK views of two of them, which were both adults, the third far more sleepy bird looked to be a first-winter, but I wouldn't put money on that until I get better views.

So small compared to the Canadas. Think the right hand bird may be the first-winter

These were my first White-fronted Geese on patch since a single adult in January 2018, although I have missed one in between (Clive had a brief early morning bird on 28th May 2020).

I've not had time today to see the Pochard (fem) and Tufted Duck (drake) that Kev found earlier on Seaton Marshes - just a pity the Scaup isn't still with us as that would have made a fantastic trio!  Pochard is rare enough mind being our first since June 2020 (Clive) and only a handful of records in the last decade.

One that slipped us all was a Spoonbill watched feeding on the Estuary mid-afternoon yesterday, but wasn't present during the morning or evening (we had a quick look around at last light once the news was out). Thanks Mike Lock for this record, a species we didn't record at all in 2021.

Other snippets of interest since 00:01 on 01/01/2022 include the continued regular evening appearances of Goosander (up to four) and Cattle Egret (up to five), the odd Pintail sporadically showing up (Kev had four today) and the wintering Firecrest at Seaton Hole (Phil).  

All I need to do is get out myself a bit more!  

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