Goose Bumps

I was at Farlington Marshes for a few hours today, it was a Spring Bank Holiday, the reserve might have been busy. There were a few people about but not many, the reason was obvious if you tried to walk around the seawall. I expect it has been colder this winter but I don’t remember a day when I felt as cold, the wind was cutting and taking gloves off to take pictures was painful, even standing still for long was unwise. Luckily the best birds were in the field just behind the Building, at least for most of the morning. A small flock of dark-bellied brent geese, not more than 250 included the red-breasted goose and the female black brant I first saw on Friday.

black brant with dark-bellied brent

black brant with dark-bellied brent

It is not too difficult to pick out from the flock.

black brant female

black brant female

The red-breasted goose was also showing well again, all in all the fields held at least 2000 brent geese still, so if any have left it is a minority as winter drags on into yet another month. I don’t know how many of the winter waders are still with us, although the weekend’s WeBS count should give us and idea, but my guess is a good number remain. They are understandably reluctant to depart into an icy north-easterly.

red-breasted goose

red-breasted goose

The same brent flock included six colour-ringed birds and I saw a seventh near the Willow Pool on the south wall.

brent GKYH

brent GKYH

I did not see, or hear, of much else of note, a couple of wheatear and a scatter of chiffchaff represented the seasonal migrants and a few lesser black-backed gulls were moving north-east, mostly in pairs and I suspected a few herring gull of doing the same. I also found one of the pale-bellied brent geese with the dark-bellied brent on South Marsh.

 

 

 

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