Friday, 2 January 2015

Goose chasing

Returning to the Fen after the Yuletide shenanigans I decided to have a look for the Bean Geese in the Fortrey Hall/Witcham Gravel area.  There were some sizeable Swan flocks, peppered with Canada's and as I was leaving I caught 5 grey geese sneaking into a far field.  Dark necked and grey/blue backed these Pink-footed Geese demanded a closer view.  Through some stalking that the old schoolers would have been proud of  I got close to the Swans and the geese beyond.  Having afforded some enigmatic views of the wild geese, I pondered upon my next move.  The wind howled, the sky was low and leaden and I decided on a safari rather than a stake out to try and relocate the Beans.  There wasn't the large numbers of Swans I was expecting in the fields to the east of the Washes, so my goose chase became pretty futile.  I had a look for the Rough-legged Buzzard around Lady Fen and saw a few Buzzards including the pale bird which several birders unfortunately believed to be the RLB.  On the way home I hoped to see a New Year Garganey on the settling beds, lots of duck on the whipped up water and a good show of Marsh Harrier in the bluster but no southern duck.

My attention was drawn to the geese as, several times, I heard a high pitched call somewhat reminiscent of White-fronted Goose.  The source of this exciteable squeaky yelp was the teeny Cackling Goose that Ben had also seen.  The whole complex of small and large Canada's is looking at a potential double figure species split with hundreds of proposed sub-species, but in old money I think this is the Richardson's Canada Goose that has been knocking around the area for over 10 years now and used to be resident at the Maltings.  I used to divert a walk in town to see this bird back then and certainly seeing it in a less urbanised setting has not taken anything away from the appeal of this little bird.