Hail's View

I was certain this would be the day I would get my first Redwing of the autumn, and I could hear them, I was sure, as soon as I arrived at Hail's View at first light this morning. Still, I wanted to be certain, even though I already was certain, so I waited. The Barn Owl was out and there were many geese and ducks. A large group of ducks out the back were undoubtedly Pintail, but their eclipse plumage is still confusing me. More Redwings were heard, and loose flocks of thrush-sized birds were seen occasionally, which had to be Redwing too. A few Lesser Redpolls came over, at least 7 counted, and the odd Meadow Pipit was heard. A Peregrine came gliding across in front of me with something in its talons, found a suitable spot to land, and began tucking in to its thrush-sized breakfast until it was flushed off its meal by the farmer checking the cattle. The crows came and finished it off. A Green Sandpiper was heard calling, but not seen. Whilst scanning the geese, two stood out, smaller than the Canadas and darker than the Greylags. Wiping the objective lens of my scope once again, I made out white markings on their faces; White-fronted Geese. I guessed they were the russian race, albifrons, as their heads weren't particularly dark. Someone who reported my find to the news services confirmed it. The Greenland race would be a bit of a mega find in my book.  

White-fronted Geese

White-fronted Geese appear to be a feature of Pulborough Brooks. Since I've started watching here, about 2 years ago now, to my knowledge there's been three other occurrences.  A pair in March 2019,  which hung around a little too long for the twitching community's comfort, the fear being that if they didn't head off on their migration journey then they may be considered 'escapes' or 'naturalised', i.e. not truly wild birds. On my birthday last year, following the biblical floods where the arun burst its banks, the first of three such events that winter, another pair were on the mid brooks. Then, in February this year, 3 were on the north brooks, which may have been around a little while. It would be interesting, and informative, to know if any of these occurrences are of the same birds... 


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