Saturday, 3 December 2011


Really very pleased to locate a flock of 12 White-fronted Geese on the marshes at Wood's End this afternoon, to make it 100 for the year on the patch. The resident Greylag flock were close, just over the river infact, so I had set about scanning through the noisy group when I came across a single White-front in with the Greylags. Perhaps this bird is feral, but the 11+ birds feeding away from the Greylags were much more likely to be migrants. A good bird away from Buckenham! Also of note was a White-front sized goose, dark almost black head, brown back with diffuse white feathers on primaries. Perhaps a Brent x Greylag?! Do they exist? It is certainly a Goose winter.
Not a great deal else to report around the reserve, a worrying lack of Barn Owls of late. Gull roost building on Wood's End, 30+ Common Gull and a few Herring. 5 Pied Wagtail over (off to Morrisons?) and 2 Meadow Pipit flushed from the flooded marsh. Single Teal on the lagoon, bit rubbish.

A final note on the Western Sandpiper. Moult patterns and the rufous on the scapulars seems to have clinched it, but something that really rang bells with me was a piece of behaviour described on Birdforum.Western Sandpipers feed in a methodical 'Sewing machine' style, probing back and forth in the mud. I observed the Cley bird do just this, so feel a little happier ticking a bird that at first I could not ID!


  1. Congratulations on getting to 100! Did the hybrid goose look like any of these:

  2. Cheers James.
    Ah- now that is interesting. Looking at the bird in the first three photos, the general structure along with white tertials and secondaries fit in with the bird I saw, although I could not make out a white blaze around the bill base. Will keep grilling that Goose flock!