|Pale-bellied Brent Goose with Pink-footed Geese at Banks today.|
The marshes were actually pretty unimpressive but 3650 Pink-footed Geese in the fields inland of the seawall deserved a bit of attention and duly rewarded me with 3 Barnacle Geese and a Pale-bellied Brent Goose.
Two each of Peregrine and Merlin were the only raptor highlights during WeBS but Graham Clarkson and I saw a ringtail Hen Harrier out at Hesketh Out Marsh yesterday afternoon towards dusk. A redhead Goosander was the first I've had at HOM and even as darkness fell I could see a couple of hundred Whooper Swans inland of the RSPB reserve.
Otherwise it's just been a couple of quick spells looking through Pink-footed Geese near Martin Mere this weekend but nothing unusual.
Bit of a frustrating time with the Pink-footed Goose neckbands this weekend. One bird from the UU hide at Martin Mere just wouldn't show the letters on the collar yesterday, not stretching its neck until it flew. Another bird, XX...... something (couldn't read the last letter due to ruffled feathers) today but I did see the blue neckband B2S Pink-foot ringed in Denmark during WeBS.
So after spending the first year or so of its life wintering in Holland and Belgium, B2S decided it would like to join Icelandic birds wintering in the UK.
It's estimated that there's an annual exchange of around a few hundred individuals between Svalbard and Icelandic breeding Pinks, mainly taking place in severe winters (Goose Populations of the Western Palearctic; Madsen, Cracknell & Fox).
I see B2S decided to have another look at the Low Country wintering grounds in late 2007 though, albet briefly.