25th October 2012 – RICHARDSON’S CANADA GOOSE at Whitrigg – a county 1st….

I was just enjoying a bit of birding at Port Carlisle earlier, a Curlew Sand and Little Stint had been the highlights (I’ll just have to forget about the small, creeping about wader that was too far away to identify!), and then I had a text from Col saying he had a Canada Goose with Barnies at Whitrigg, he described it as the same size as the Barnies, with a short thick neck and square-ish head. Flipping ‘eck that sounds like a Small race Canada Goose I thought and when I spoke to him I said he had pretty much just described a Richardson’s! – a long overdue county first. I quickly abandoned my waders and within ten minutes had arrived alongside Col who was thankfully still watching the bird. Here are some crappy record shots…

It seems remarkable that we’ve not had a vagrant Canada Goose in Cumbria before, especially given that the Barnacle Geese that frequent the Scottish side of the Solway also regularly wander into Cumbria each winter. This has been proven by the appearances of Ross’s, Red-breasted Goose and a hybrid in 2010/2011 which all commuted between Caerlaverock and the Cumbrian side of the Solway with the Barnies. Over the last ten years I have seen Richardson’s, Taverner’s, Cackling and Todd’s Canada Geese all with the Solway Barnacles in the Caerlaverock area – but annoyingly not one of the buggers has flown over to us in Cumbria! Vagrant Canada Geese have also occurred in recent winters with Pink-footed Geese in both Norfolk and Lancashire, and each year masses of Pinks stop over on the Solway on their journey north. Again this has been proved by the appearances of both Ross’s and Snow Goose that had previously been seen in either Norfolk or Lancashire. But again the vagrant Canada’s have always missed us! So a long overdue and much anticipated county first – well done Col…

* Interestingly since 4th October 2012 there has seen an arrival of up to ten Richardson’s Canada Geese throughout Britain and Ireland – including 5 together on Islay, and 3 together in Co. Sligo, and all bar one have arrived with Barnacle Geese (the other bird arrived with Pinks in Merseyside today).

** A Richardson’s Canada Goose was reported with Barnacle Geese from Loaningfoot (Dumfries & Galloway) on Monday 29th October 2012 – presumably this is our bird moving over to the Scottish side!! Grrr.

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One Response to 25th October 2012 – RICHARDSON’S CANADA GOOSE at Whitrigg – a county 1st….

  1. Good job! Seems like there’s only one thing to do when you find one of these – I did the same yesterday http://www.ribbletoamazon.com/2012/10/a-fine-day-in-field.html with the Marshside bird!

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