Saturday, 2 January 2010

Farmoor Pink-footed Geese

A Happy New Year!

On Friday 1st January at around dusk I got a call from Farmoor patchworker Dai John saying that he'd had a flock of 19 pink-footed geese fly over heading over Wytham Hill towards Port Meadow (my patch). With this in mind I decided to get up early the next day to head down to the Meadow to see if they were there. Whilst I had a good but cold hour's birding on the Meadow (see the Port Meadow Birding), there were no sign of the geese. I'd just got back home when I got another call from Dai saying that the geese had turned up again and were in a field near the entrance to Farmoor reservoir. I didn't need any further encouragement and fairly soon after I was down there along with several of the county birding regulars. The birds were in the middle of a field and the only vantage point was from the south end of the field so one was looking towards the sun which meant viewing and photography were rather difficult. Still, I took my customary record shots and got the chance to admire some truely wild pink-footed geese: the single bird that I saw at Goring last year was always going to be a little bit suspect but there was no doubting the authenticity of these birds which were extremely wary. In fact to illustrate this, about ten minutes after I arrived some walkers came along the footpath that crosses the field and put the flock up. The geese headed off towards Farmoor but apparently weren't relocated so they must have moved on.

A couple of shots of part of the flock...
...and a close-up of some of the birds. Whilst it's difficult to make out the pink on the bill you can see the grey frosted appearance of the wing feathers which distinguishes them from bean geese.

And so another year list gets underway! As regular readers will know I'm not going to bother with aiming for a high county or national year list so I'm talking a more laid-back approach to it all. I'll still keep score as a matter of interest so below are the results for the first few days.

County & National Year List 2010
001 jackdaw 01/01/2010 Garden
002 starling 01/01/2010 Garden
003 blue tit 01/01/2010 Garden
004 goldfinch 01/01/2010 Garden
005 blackbird 01/01/2010 Garden
006 black-headed gull 01/01/2010 Garden
007 collard dove 01/01/2010 Garden
008 robin 01/01/2010 Garden
009 wood pigeon 01/01/2010 Garden
010 chaffinch 01/01/2010 Garden
011 greenfinch 01/01/2010 Garden
012 great tit 01/01/2010 Garden
013 long-tailed tit 01/01/2010 Garden
014 magpie 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
015 greylag goose 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
016 mallard 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
017 coot 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
018 great crested grebe 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
019 wigeon 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
020 teal 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
021 shoveler 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
022 moorhen 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
023 lapwing 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
024 ruff 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
025 redshank 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
026 pied wagtail 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
027 meadow pipit 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
028 linnet 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
029 sparrowhawk 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
030 kingfisher 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
031 cormorant 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
032 lsr blk-backed gull 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
033 gtr blck-backed gull 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
034 herring gull 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
035 canada goose 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
036 carrion crow 01/01/2010 Port Meadow
037 redwing 02/01/2010 Kingston Road
038 house sparrow 02/01/2010 Kingston Road
039 rook 02/01/2010 Farmoor
040 kestrel 02/01/2010 Farmoor
041 fieldfare 02/01/2010 Farmoor
042 pink-footed goose 02/01/2010 Farmoor
043 buzzard 02/01/2010 Farmoor
044 pheasant 02/01/2010 Farmoor
045 feral pigeon 02/01/2010 Kingston Road

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