I didn't mean to go to Norfolk - an interesting Arthur Ransome parallel - but I have been resisting the Goose for quite a while. And of course, gradually more and more people have gone to see it, and the groundswell of positive opinion has mysteriously been growing. Who would have thought it. There was a carload going with a space, so I called up Paul and said I wasn't interested, and that I was doing the patch. An hour later, I called him back asking when they were leaving, and so found myself awake at an unhealthy hour this morning.
The Goose gave us the runaround in a big way - the Yare Valley is not easily worked. It even turned into a hybrid at one point before the real one was found, and of course all this time I was racking up year-ticks. A pair of Peregrines, a Buzzard and several Marsh Harriers were all new, as were a pile of waders and other geese. Can't be helped I suppose, but I am painfully aware that where last year I had seen 86 species by January the 2nd, this year the total stands at 98, though I am of course not keeping track of my total in 2011. Had I stayed in Wanstead, I would not have seen a single new bird, and would be feeling very virtuous for my lack of skill/success.
Once we were done chasing wild geese, Paul and the Monkey had plans to go to Thornham for the Northern Harrier/Marsh Hawk thing. I'd seen it back in November so hadn't planned on going, but the coast is always a good place in winter. Whilst they dipped the Harrier, I scanned the marsh for
So a fine day out marred only by a stack of year-ticks, but I'm back on the Flats tomorrow and can almost guarantee that I won't see a thing. See ya.