6th February 2013 – The day the sun actually came out…

Over the last week I have noticed large numbers of Pinkfeet flying over our house, particularly during the night. In fact one night last week I was lying in bed and for several hours they could be heard passing over. Even though I wanted to get off to sleep it was really fantastic to lie there with the window slightly open, listening to them flying over.

The Solway is one of ‘the’ places to see geese – especially at this time of the year. The resident Barnacle Geese are joined by thousands of northbound Pinks and they often form huge mixed flocks, which, when they take to the air, provides one of the greatest ornithological spectacles that Britain has to offer – in my opinion anyway!

And so with a day off work today, and the sun actually shining for once, I managed to get out on the patch for a couple of hours hoping to track down some geese to search through. The afternoon started off nice enough, 31 Whoopers close to home in one of their usual fields…

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King Edward I monument on Burgh Marsh, with Scotland behind.

King Edward I monument on Burgh Marsh, with Scotland in the background.

And then I found a large group of Barnies and Pinks, and set about going through them in the hope of finding something scarcer, or maybe reading a neck collar or two.

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When confronted with such a large number of geese I always feel sure that I must’ve missed something on each scan, especially when many of them are out of view, and so I usually keep going through them for ages and ages, feeling reluctant to leave until I’ve found something! Sometimes though, my persistance pays off and eventually something pops up – like this 1st winter Greenland Whitefront today…

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Besides this large flock that held the Whitefront, I found a couple of other big flocks but they kept landing out of view. Still, it’s early days yet so I’m hopeful that the next couple of months or so will reward the diligent birder.

Less than a mile from home I spotted a Short-eared Owl, but unfortunately by the time I’d parked up safely and grabbed my camera it was too distant for photographs, so this poor record shot will have to do for now….

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Nice bird to have on my doorstep tho. Just wish I had more free time to get out there 😦

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