14 March, 2019

Wild Goose Wait

This being due to there being a lot more patient waiting than running around. You try running about after even allegedly wild geese and you'll be left behind rapidly..

This was the trip I'd meant to do the week before [and possibly the weekend before that], but never mind let's get on with it.

The weather was somewhat less clement than it had been, but at least this meant I had a lot less company than the last time I'd been trying to chase tweety birds [I mean mundanes, here, obviously!]. On the down side, a brisk wind and frigid rain were less fun. Especially standing around in it hoping some geese would wander over the crest of the hill so I can get a sub-kilometre photo...

But this is to come.

First up, scene-setting shot;

[looking into the blast...]

I was looking for what was about, not least a certain little goose. While rather mobile - being quite keen on nice fresh green grass - it was faithfully returning to a sheltered spot of foreshore. Once I found out which one this was, all I had to do was wait for it to pose;

"What'll we do tonight, Brain?"

Pink-footed Goose, check.

Far more obliging

Barnacle Geese, check. [Note a very big 1w, there. Made me wonder about back- back-crossing...??]

Not a lot else; a few Wigeon and Tufted Duck, a scattering rather than a horde [maybe 50-odd] Canadas, 3 GC Grebes, Cormorants.. Not a sniff of so much as a single Goldeneye.

Female Tufty wingflap shot

Why do the rare ones never pose like this??

Where do Corms get their sticks?
They dive for them!

alba Wagtails rather than 
Tringa Sands on the shoreline

I did try to get a better look at the Pinkie, ambling around to the field the geese were grazing in and setting up behind some cover to wait and see if they felt helpful;

Close for geese
[yes, it was raining quite hard]

Black-footed Geese..

It was worth a try.

Closer to, things got much better, as a massive finch flock [and I do mean massive, they covered a good 30m of foreshore and if they weren't so twitchy and mobile I'd have a better count than 650++] worked along the exposed reservoir shore and eventually got right in front of the hide. Counting them was not easy, and eventually I gave up and just enjoyed the spectacle. And all the Bramblings.

Like this.
Male Brambling

And these.

Chaffinch vs Brambling

Lots and lots

Mostly Chaffinch, then Brambling, also Linnet, Reed Bunting and I think a couple of Goldfinch. Counting was not easy, as I said, so all I can say for certain is that there were at least 11 Brambling, as I had that many in view at once! They were wonderful!

After my failed attempt at a grazing Pinkie shot, and the rain having set in, I tried to get ahead of it and zipped back eastwards towards Exminster, hoping for some more [more! in March!] hirundines.
Fail. [It was a bit windy and also rainy..]
But I did see lots of ducks getting put up by the Marsh Harrier, and a very confiding Teal or two;

Love that vermiculation

I continued downriver, with a field full of egrets on the Powderham road giving me pause, but they proved to be all Little [and not even a partridge with them..]. Onwards to the layby at Powderham Castle, where peering over the reeds again gave no hirundines, and very little chance of a decent photo of anything more interesting lurking there. The day was saved, however, as I noticed one wild goose was sitting around with da Boyz;

The rarer Devonian Egyptian Goose
[Insert dodgy horns joke here]

I could put in a white blob picture at this point, but I'll spare you, so instead a special photo for Poser Of the Day.

Singing his little heart out, bless

It was all fun and games, much more like things should be.


Be Seeing You...

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