19th October 2010 – Wild Goose chase – or perhaps Plastic Goose chase?

A nice surprise awaited me upon my return from the delights of Asda – 3 Brambling sat in the top of a tree in the garden calling away – garden tick, get in! I then decided that I  really should go and look at the Ross’s Goose and blue-morph Snow Goose that have been reported recently on Rockcliffe Marsh amongst thousands of Barnacle Geese. So a whole 2 miles later(!) I was at Boustead Hill. Looking across Burgh Marsh at a range of about twenty miles I could see thousands of Barnies on Rockcliffe Marsh, at least I think they were Barnies, they might well have been cows they were that distant. Even with the zoom eyepiece up to 60x the geese were still tiny specks. I needed them to fly, and is if by magic, they did just that. This was my chance, I quickly picked out a couple of white geese – leucistic Barnacles, then the real mcCoy came into view. Yep, it was definatley a Ross’s or a Snow Goose, but at a range of a million miles I couldn’t say which one. It was with a touch of luck that the geese were now landing closer (they really couldn’t get any further away), and with my zoom at 60x I could now make out that they were definately Barnacle Geese and not flying cows. During a scan I also stumbled across a grey goose with a white head and neck. A-ha, the Blue morph Snow Goose me thinks. But was it really? The views were bloody awful, it looked sort of right, but way too distant to rule out one of those nasty hybrids that take on the appearance of rarer things. Hope it comes closer during the winter.

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