Sunday, 15 November 2009

Wknd 14-15 Nov

Saturday spent at the zoo, confirming the Night Herons are AWOL once more, but noting an abundance of Moorhens, some amongst the penguins, others strolling lawns and even one in the (sealed) stork and ducks pen which had presumably broken in?!

Sunday commenced with an attempt to cut short the goose count by getting them at roost on Gosford Sands before dawn, as per last month; failed, already vacated (also, vis there nearly non-existant, done for the year now). So trawled around usual sites in East Lothian - Whoopers now discovered unharvested potatoes in fields btwn Chapel and Congalton, but no repeat of the mass influx (389 birds) this time two years ago - only 90 present/remaining (10 juvs), and deep ruts made it impossible to get any darvics.

At East Fortune, 291 Greylags was another decent count, Icelandic immigrants betrayed by a single silver collar NAX, a regular bird in Lothian since 2002 (ringed on Iceland, July 2000, all records here). But no sign of its mate, SFJ! Also there on the resr, Northumberland Mute red-UXC (at Gleghornie last winter, and Waughton the previous year), and 550 Pinks nearby.

Back to Gosford towards dusk, and a Kingfisher was heard at the ponds. Counted at least 332 Greylags around island, plus usual accompanying 2 Greylag x Canada, 2 domestic/hybrid mainly white and grey variants, and their mate a probable Swan Goose x Greylag hybrid (similar to these), and a single lost Pinkfoot; in addition, several Greylags have some hints of white feathering on cheeks and may be back-crosses of Greylags with Greylag x Canada hybrids, or some such. They commenced flying to roost 16:30hrs and c. 355 counted out - all headed NE towards Aberlady, but 10 mins later they all flew back SW and were located on Gosford shore well after sunset; there a total of 377 birds was logged, minus variants giving 662 birds in total - marginally the biggest count yet.

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