Monday, 25 January 2010


Over the last few weeks, there has been a bit of an influx of geese, with small parties scattered over the country. This has resulted in a few unusual species occurring inland, such as the Brent Geese at Amwell a few days ago that most of the regulars failed to get.
Last month I had planned on going to Cantley and Buckenham in the Bure valley east of Norwich as its been many years since my last visit, for the Taiga Bean Geese that winter there, but depart very early, often in January. This did not happen and we had intended to try this weekend. Instead we decided to go to the fens again.
A small party of geese at Eldernell on the Nene Washes included a couple of White Fronts, a few Pink Footed and two Tundra race Beans. Unfortunately, mist all day meant that views were terrible, and in the morning, when we arrived we did not expect to have much success. In the end, all the geese were located, but at some distance and the images I got were to say the least rubbish. A bonus of two Cranes which had gone missing flew in on the far bank about half a mile away and could just be made out in the murk. Apparently two Great White Egrets had been present early on but had flown east.

A few miles to the south, near the RSPB reserve at Welches Dam, a large flock of wild swans contained a single Pink Foot and three Taiga Bean Geese. Despite slightly better conditions I never got any usable images.

At Lyndford Arboretum the Hawfinches proved as elusive as ever and we missed a couple of brief sightings. A flock of 18 Crossbills were nice, as were a huge flock of Siskin and Redpoll.
With time at a premium we decided to finish the day at Santon Downham where a large flock of Brambling have been present for some time. Severeal Bullfinch, tits, Nuthatches and Treecreeper added some variety.


Stuart's Poor Birding World said...

Don't be too hard on the pics - an identifiable shot is a good one!
Love the Brambling.

Phil Bishop said...

Thanks. The geese turned out fairly well all things considered.
This was the only Brambling that played ball, the rest were hard to approach.