I spent a couple of hours trawling around the Martin Mere area this morning. During the morning there were very few Pink-footed Geese at the WWT wetland centre but my short journey home was delayed a little when I came across a flock of around a thousand birds feeding in grassland next to the road.
Most were in binocular scanning distance although it took a sweep with the 'scope to find the single Barnacle Goose at the back of the field. Great shame that the geese were disturbed by the farmer but I did see a couple of interesting things before they flew off.
The majority of the Pink-footed Geese we get here in Lancashire are Icelandic birds. However today I saw a bird with a white neck collar with I40 on it. I40 is a Svalbard bird (green peg on the map) and like O23 that I saw nearby in November 2012, normally spends its winters in the Low Countries (see here).
Unlike O23 this is the first time that I40 has been recorded in the UK though, normally wintering in the Netherlands, Belgium or Denmark (as would be expected for a Svalbard bird).
I entered my sighting on the www.geese.org database this afternoon to see what I40 has been up to:
I didn't get a photo of I40 but LBH (an Icelandic female ringed by the WWT) was in the same flock and a bit closer. I saw her about ten days ago nearby too (see here).
Here she is showing off her neck bling nicely.
|Great Spotted Woodpecker, Martin Mere WWT, 17 January 2013.|