Thursday, October 28, 2010

More luck at Steart

It can get a bit boring scanning mud for 6 hours at a time but there are the odd occasions when something interesting does come into view. This was one of those occasions. It was the last 30 minute count period of the 12 and what do you know 4 Brent type geese had appeared on the mud. Quite a notable event in itself, but amongst the 4 was a Brant! They were a fair distance out but just close enough to get some record shots through the scope. After quickly getting the shots my attention turned to the other 3 birds. One was clearly a dark-bellied but the other two didnt look right at all. They looked somewhere inbetween and rather at the Black Brant end of the scale. Just as I was trying to sort it out everything was flushed. The birds did settle again, but at about a km out, where they stayed sat on the mud for at least 30 minutes. In the end I had to go. With the help of Dave Chown did manage to contact some locals but the birds had gone by the time the first people arrived. Apparently this is the first Somerset record. Wow!

All 4 birds after being put up. Even at this range you can see a variety of shades going from dull flanks on the left hand bird to more contrasty in the next bird and then the Brant. The bird on the right looked exactly the same as the other contrasty bird