Wednesday, 22 December 2010

A wild goose chase?

With a rare a day off work, i agreed to met James at the station and head to Buckenham to look for the Lesser White-fronted Goose that appeared last week. We got of the train at Cantley and planned to walk back via Buckenham and Strumpshaw. From Burnt House Road we located the main flock of Bean Geese, but due to the lie of the ground couldn't see the whole flock. Moving further along the footpath we got better views and located the Lesser White-front with 100+ Bean Geese. A Barn Owl drifted along the railway hedge line and a Buzzard was perched up on a nearby gate. Approaching the river a ringtail Hen Harrier flew east and 2 Peregrine were perched up in a dead tree. A second Barn Owl flew along the river bank nearer Buckenham, before the elevated position gave us better views of the geese. On the Buckenham side of the reserve most of the Wigeon had been forced onto the river along with a few Shoveler and a Black Swan. 2 Dunlin flew over the new hide as we gave it a one over and a single White-fronted Goose was with a small splinter of Bean Geese. Walking back through Strumpshaw we met Ben, and discussed the merits of the Lesser White-front. I would like to think that historical evidence of the species at this site, the weather when the bird arrived and the fact it seems to have arrived with Bean Geese and associates with them should be enough to suggest it is a genuine bird. But with many feral geese now in Norfolk, it looks like it is guilty until proven innocent.

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