Monday, 30 January 2012

Brown & white, Black & white, & White

I decided to head North today, having seen yesterday that 2 types of geese had been seen at Longtown, North from Carlisle, also a Bewick Swan with some Whoopers. I don't know Longtown that well so did a bit of riding round before I located a field full of geese. They turned out to be Pink-footed Geese about 500. I went through them slowly looking for White-fronted, but no sign. Then when I was about to give up another flock of about 60 came in, and get in there 3 White-fronts with them, two more to the list, so where next. Didn't find the Swans so no Bewick today, you win some you lose some.
            Next on to the Solway and first stop Sandsfield and quite a walk down to the marsh but well worth it as there must have been 4 to 5000 Barnacle geese far out on the marsh. I spent some time scoping them but no sign of the Red-breasted Goose. So hiked back to the car and continued along the Solway not stopping too many times as the tide was out and with it all the waders.
          I pulled in at the scrape to watch the Great White Egret for a while it was enjoying some goodies it was finding in the small pools.

Great White Egret.












Next I moved on to Cardurnock where first I found about 100 Golden Plover  feeding with a few Lapwings in a field. Then as I drove on 5 silhouetted geese flew over the road ahead of me, then dropped out of sight. I pulled up to see where they had gone, grabbing the bins I got out of the car to look down the bank. I was amazed at what confronted me, not much more than 25yds from where I stood, was a 1000 or more Barnies. I started to scan them all looking for the Red-breasted but even after half an hour, again there was no sign. I did find 3 leucistic geese with them

Two of the three leucistic Barnacle geese.




It had been a good days birding, The sun shone for most of the day after a frosty start and now it was time to head for home. Even on the way home I still managed another lister 7 Whimbrel feeding in a field beyond some Lapwing I had stopped to check out. Not a bad day.

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