09 February 2009

A wild-goose chase...

The only birding I did over the weekend was rushed, rather brief, not particularly productive and also very cold! And worse, it didn’t involve a cooked breakfast! I think last weekend has spoilt me somewhat. Having to work on Saturday, and then doing a spot of shopping on Sunday morning, meant that I didn’t venture out with my “bins” until almost 3:00PM on Sunday afternoon and then it was only to go on a wild-goose chase - I was off in search of a Brent Goose.

Having received a number of text messages and a phone call to alert me to its presence I made the short drive to Hilton to tick off the Brent that had been located with a small flock of Greylag geese. Luckily the goose was showing well when I arrived and I had another new species for the year on my “10-Mile List”. This was also the first Brent that I’ve recorded in the county, not that I chase county ticks as such - you can keep too many lists you know.

Whilst in the area I also stopped off at the nearby fishing lakes where a Great White Egret had been seen, on and off, over the previous two days. I can now say that I have officially “dipped out” on the big white one - it didn’t show whilst I was there, and hasn’t been reported since. Not only would this have been a new species for the “10-Mile List” it would also have been another new county record for me. I am slowly starting to get over the disappointment of this one and am now off suicide watch. Seeing a single Common Buzzard, a group of around 30 Golden Plover and a mixed flock of Fieldfare and Redwing did go some little way to making the freezing conditions more bearable at the time. I’d rather have seen the egret though! I’m now looking forward to the coming weekend and the chance to return to real bird-watching again, but more on that later in the week.

My “10-Mile List” now stands at 84 species.

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