Monday, 26 November 2012

Winter Geese

Sorry its been a while since my last post but I have been really busy with university work and had other things on, then trying to juggle all this with birding can prove to be a problem for the blog! But it would appear the blog is still popular so I will be keeping it on for the foreseeable future.

On the 17th of November I was over in Dumfries and Galloway for some twitching, birding opportunities were few on the day as time was against us (it is winter now). Arrived early on at Whitrigg in Cumbria to look for the Red-breasted Goose that had been found there the previous day. On arrival a familiar sight greeted me with thousands of Barnacle Geese, awesome but daunting! I set off scanning the flocks on deck while I assigned 'The Sleeper' the task of scanning the birds that were flying in. A while passed and I had checked the geese thoroughly a number of times and had only turned up a few Pink-footed Geese and a few leucistic Barnacles which were cool. I then started to scan the flocks flying in as well, didn't take long until a large flock of birds appeared out of nowhere over the horizon and started flying toward the field. They were dropping in behind the hedge, however one of the close flocks came to circle round before landing and lo and behold the Red-breasted Goose was with them. Kieran managed to get on it and we watched it fly down into the field, a few minutes later I drove around and picked the bird up amongst about 1,000 Barnacles. Thankfully the bird showed really well!

(Red-breasted Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

(Red-breasted Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

But the question I have is have I seen this bird before? I think I may have, its possibly the Scaling Dam bird returning to where it spent the winter last year (or at least near). It was an adult and so I do wonder if I have seen 2 Red-breasted Geese or just the 1. But I think I can safely say they will put this one through so have added it to my BOU list and will take it off IF it is rejected (of course).

Next was Southerness in Dumfries and Galloway, on Facebook the previous evening a photo was posted on Mike Youdale's wall of a Canada Goose type from Southerness. Opinions were asked and I jumped; Richardson's. We arrived and were greeted by a carpet of distant Barnacles where I knew the bird was (thanks to Mike Youdale), the task started of scanning. As expected the Barnacles got worked up in a nearby field and joined the already massive carpet of birds meaning the task got even harder. After about 1 hour 15 mins I finally picked the bird up amongst the Barnacles near the back end by the golf course. The golfers would be getting mega views! Though distant I could really appreciate how small the goose actually was! A fantastic looking bird and a species I had been keen to see for a while. I thought I was going to have to go to Islay to see one, though not so! Richardson's Canada Goose is part of the Lesser Canada Goose variety and is already split, as far as I am aware the great and good are reviewing the records and making a gue..I mean will informed decision as to the origin of the birds that have occurred  So no doubt this bird will be accepted as being of wild origin, probably one of the best credential mainland Richardson 
Canada Goose there has been in a long while?

(Richardson's Canada Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

On the video the bird is central back, a little box does pop up in the video to show you where the bird is.
(Richardson's Canada Goose - copyright Andrew Kinghorn)

OH and myself and Kieran found some Waxwings at various locations in Cumbria, but then we are all sick of Waxwing reports but NOT sick of Waxwing.

Stick around soon for some gull action, I said gull.

Until next time, Foghorn out!


  1. Surely the same RB Goose I saw with barnies on Islay a few years ago too ?

    Sure this was considered plastic back then, it was accepted onto cat Z or something !

  2. No response ? It's not so easy to wind you up these days !!....