Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Barnacle Goose....

....and two ducks.

This winter has been exceptional for Barnacle Geese in our recording area, I've personally seen 54, with 23 on Pilling Marsh, 7 of Fluke Hall Lane, 8 flying south at Cockersands, and 16 on Aldcliffe Marsh just a few days ago and which have been present here since Thursday 18 November. Void of searching my records I'd say this number of 54 exceeds all my previous sightings of Barnacle Geese over my entire birding years in this area by something like fifty. 

Barnacle Geese. Phillip Tomkinson

There are very few records of any UK ringed birds in America, but at the end of November the first British ringed Barnacle Goose was reported at Orchard Beach in New York 5,204km from where it was ringed in 2002 on Islay, an island in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. Barnacle Geese are in any case rare in North America so this is certainly a bird to qualify as 'MEGA'. This individual was frequently seen on Islay since it was ringed - along with one of its parents and a sibling - until it disappeared in 2005, the other two are still seen around Islay.

Interesting stuff, and the bird has now moved 50 miles north east of Orchard Beach to Stratford, Conneticut where the bad news is that the bird has an injury to its left leg. If I hear more about this bird It'll get a mention on this space! 

And finally....

'Two Ducks' Colin Bushell

The first winter drake Scaup at the top, and the Red-crested Pochard below were see at Southport Marine Lakes in November by Colin. 

No comments: