Thursday, 25 December 2014

Goose For Christmas

It was a tale of two halves for me this morning. I had been given a morning pass for birding and I needed to feed my farmland birds and I wanted to have a look at the Geese. My feeding station is twenty minutes from home and the Geese were 25 minutes from the feeding station, but thankfully once at the Geese it is only five minutes back home, perhaps even less.

The first three birds I saw as drove down the track towards the feeding station were raptors; a Kestrel, a male Sparrowhawk that flew low in front of the car and then a calling Buzzard from the woodland. Continuing the theme of 'three' I also had three Brown Hares run down the track just ahead of me; they are fantastic animals!

It was just coming light so the birds were just starting to arrive at the feeding station and these included Great Spotted Woodpecker, five Chaffinches, 28 Tree Sparrows, six Yellowhammers and a Grey Partridge. The food was 'dropped' and I headed on to the Geese fields. On my way out from the feeding station I had two Jays by the side of the lane.

The Pink-footed Geese were on both sides of the road this morning and also they were between parking areas. I looked through the birds on one side of the road first and half of the flock was hard to see due to the low sun. Amongst these birds, perhaps 4-500 Pinkies here (including a neck-collared bird), were the two pale-bellied Brent Geese. I had an idea that the Todd's Canadas were also with this group, but couldn't see them.

Brent Goose

On the other side of the road were 2-300 Pinkies and amongst them were the two Bean Geese.They were quite distant and hard to see and kept vanishing amongst the Pinkies. Interestingly they were split like this yesterday apparently, as in the morning we had the Todd's and Brents in one group of Pinkies and later in the day in another group Ian had the Bean and a White-fronted.

My allotted time was up and I had to return home to exchange presents with the family. There is a chance that it might be fit for some ringing in the morning but a lot will depend on the forecast later and how much real ale I consume during the day!

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