Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Chasing the Specific

Wednesday January 2
Getting Tundra Bean Goose on the list in January is always a matter of urgency for me. They will leave fairly shortly.
Pam spotted a small group of Bewick Swan in a roadside field, white lines so we couldn't stop. Our first Rooks of the year too.
Getting a roadside Goldcrest as we left the level crossing approach to Buckenham Marshes seemed like a good omen. It wasn't. No sign of the Bean Geese flock. Two wet birders told us that they had been in the far corner until railway workers had scared them off. A barrage of shooting from the Strumpshaw direction had decimated the number of wild fowl too. To-day must be one of the designated days agreed by the RSPB as part of their leasing agreement. Scanning the marsh and the flock of handsome Barnacle Geese, I found a Grey Heron and a male Peregrine, the latter perched on a gatepost.
Plan B. A 6 bar gate at the side of a one track lane near Cantley village where there's barely room to pull the car off onto a steep grass verge opposite. I got out with my scope to scan the treed marshes below and beyond. When I found firstly the White-fronted geese and then the orange-legged Taiga Beans, I called Pam out of the car to view through my scope. I was only out a short time but the rain was rather heavy, I could feel it splodging through my trousers.
Winterton seemed like a better option than Chedgrave Marsh. Scoping from the car, I saw half a dozen Red-throated Divers, 1 female Common Scoter and one Black-throated Diver. There were probably more divers but, there was a strong northerly drift which made counting difficult in limited viewing conditions.
Maybe we'll add GCGrebe after lunch with friends on Friday. I have an early hairdresser appointment to-morrow morning but - weather permitting - we can probably fit some birding in to make up for the poor start.

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