Barnacle Goose Astland Photography
A Barnacle Goose has earned itself a record by being the first ever to have reached Spain having flown 900 miles further south beyond Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.
Having migrated for six consecutive years between Arctic Svalbard and Caerlaverock WWT where the bird was ringed in 2004, this individual - a male - was marked CBZ and failed to turn up on the Solway Firth last winter, and has failed to do so again this year. Caerlaverock WWT had feared that he'd not survive to return to Scotland, that was until a birder in Spain reported the bird in the sunshine of the Rouxique Marshes near Vigo on north-west Spain's Atlantic coast.
WWT's ringing programme originally identified three separate populations of Barnacle Geese breeding in Svalbard, Greenland, and Siberia, and WWT's protection has helped the Svalbard/Solway Firth population on the road to recovery from just 300 birds in the 1940's to 30,000 today.
Barnacle Geese are often at the mercy of extreme weather and food shortage during their lifetime, and CBZ had been thought to have failed to make it back to Scotland for two consecutive years, only to turn up in Spain sunning itself. The big question now is whether or not he'll find his way back to the Solway Firth en-route to Svalbard to breed there again next year.
There'll be more than a few people who know what a murmuration is today than did'nt know previous to the recent BBC Autumnwatch programme which was filmed this year at Leighton Moss RSPB Reserve in Lancashire, and which featured the Starlings aerial gatherings to go to roost in the reedbeds at the reserve providing us with one of natures amazing spectacles called a murmuration.
Starling Martin Jump
Amazing....that a single Starling like this one which Martin photographed over his garden, can be joined by several thousand of its kind to create spectacular formations like the ones over Leighton Moss.
Starling Murmuration. Brian Rafferty.