Thursday, 2 January 2014

Goosey Gandering

Thursday January 2

The road to birding is paved with good intentions...
I didn't get up until 9.45, after a disturbed night with an hour and a half read in the middle. I only had about four hours before yesterday's birding and then we went to a dinner party at a friend's. Most enjoyable. There were seven of us and a 4 month old baby, Emilie only joined during her final feed. What a sweetie. She and her parents fly to Singapore to-morrow.
Then, whilst I breakfasted Sara FaceTimed me from Brisbane where it's 38C and stormy. That set me back another hour. Pam was busy showing her Christmas presents including what Sara sent us !
A lovely sunny day to-day, why couldn't it have been yesterday? First stop was Ludham airstrip where 60ish Bewick and half a dozen Whooper Swans are resting. I took some photos into the sun.

The family of Whoopers to the right of the tyre tracks, is obvious by size comparison with the smaller Bewick's.
Over 20 Egyptian Geese grazed amongst them. We didn't see any yesterday...

Parking in our usual gateway near School Road, Cantley, I scanned the marshes below. I found a few groups of geese which were probably Taiga Bean and White-fronts from size, jizz and favoured area but no way am I going to count them. Too distant and viewing into strong sunlight doesn't aid ID. Two Great-spotted Woodpeckers and a Marsh Harrier performed well. 
Buckenham/Cantley Marshes were heaving with birds of very few species. An enormous flock of Lapwings, only surpassed by the number of Golden Plovers. Slow scope scanning added a dozen Ruff, a large flock of Canada Geese and a few Barnacle Geese.Apart from the geese, all the other birds leapt into the air periodically, only to land again after swirling around in amorphous clouds. We found the pair of Peregrine again, lazing about on one of the many wooden gates and fences.
Not the geese we'd hoped to see but we added 11 species to the year list. Next fine day (another storm forecast), we'll try again.

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