|It's in there somewhere.|
This week I'm swapping the Ribble Pinks for the Solway Barnies. The Red-breasted Goose first seen in Cumbria last month and later at Caerlaverock, has relocated to the west side of the Nith, frequenting the Carsethorn / Southerness area at the moment. I had a free morning today so I headed down there pretty early, but it was still a bit dark when I arrived with geese still leaving the merse.
First stop Carsethorn where I saw the redhead Smew with a pair of Goldeneye on the small fishing lake along the Kirkbean Road and a small ringtail Hen Harrier (definitely an immature male - it had some grey in the wing) before most of the Barnacle Geese arrived and started feeding in the fields. No Red-breast here though.
Next stop north of Southerness where a thousand strong flock of Barnacles could be seen near Loaningfoot. The Red-breasted Goose had been seen here yesterday so I settled in for some "serious sifting". I located the target bird after a little over quarter of an hour searching the flock from the comfort of the car. It had been in dead ground and as it approached the front of the field it became hard to see again (see top photo). This tiny goose was easily hidden behind the accompanying Barnies, completely disappearing below the level of plants in the field in the foreground at one point. Then the whole flock took to to the air and although many headed to Preston Merse, the Red-breasted Goose dropped back in the field and right at the front of the flock (above).
Apologies for the poor quality shots but it was very windy indeed!
Two Ravens and 15 Twite were other noteworthy species here.
I headed in the direction of Powillimount next, hopefully for some grey goose action but was stopped in my tracks by a flock of Barnacles near the road near Newmains. A brown-backed bird was obvious at the back of the flock - a "Small Canada Goose", obviously.
I guess this is the bird ID'd as a Taverner's yesterday but it dipped into dead ground at the back of the field pretty quickly, only to reappear as it flew off with Barnacles a while later. No time to pursue it unfortunately. I'll have more time at the weekend and there's lots of Pinks in the area to look through too.