Sunday 2 January 2011

Local Birding

Local to someone, just not me unfortunately. Unable to resist a trip to Norfolk today, mainly to see the Lesser White-fronted Goose in the Yare Valley. Of unknown origin at the moment, with two distinct camps in terms of thoughts of authenticity, split very closely along the lines of those who have seen it, and those that haven't. Having seen it, I'm a believer...

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 year ticks interesting birds. After an hour or so the Harrier turned up, and I got much better views than the first time around. The bird now appears to have a foot injury, but this didn't stop it catching a small wader which it made short work of, back in the air again after only twenty minutes. It behaves much more like a Marsh Harrier than a Hen Harrier I have to say.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment