Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red-breasted Goose at Hinkley!

With fog all day, not a great day to be surveying. Although was able to see about 300 metres so did get data but all thoughts of seeing anything interesting had long gone.
A fisherman came over and asked if there was anything interesting about and I was just in the middle of explaining how dire it was when I heard this rather high pitched honking! Hold on a minute I said I can hear a goose. Then out of the gloom appeared this shape. I must admit by now I had already ruled out a fair few geese on the pitch of the call alone as was already rather excited.
Luckily the bird went straight over our heads and was able to reveal itself as a Red-breasted Goose!
The bloke could see how excited I was. "Is it a good one" he asked. Well I said, it could be very very good or alternatively it could be crap! He was a bit confused until I explained the escape bird possibility. I said it probably is of captive origin but hey its a great bird to see.
To my surprise the bird then started heading back towards us. I ran for my camera and managed to get a few shots as it did a circuit then heading back off into the gloom

Cant see anything on its legs

You can just about make out a very thin extra covert bar on the wing. As it is so feint and some adults can show this it is probably an adult.
On this shot it also looks to have a foreshortened outer primary. It does look rather blunt I must say, perhaps it is damage or maybe its just in the middle of growing a new one. Or maybe that is normal, maybe they do have shorter outer primaries anyway? If you look at the top photo again it does looks more normal there so maybe their outer primaries are a bit shorter.
Also later had 3 more Snow Buntings over.