Caelaverock: 26th November 2011
Barnacle Geese-Bill Young
Monday, 12 December 2011
It was windy all day, but the rain kept away until after 1.30 pm- which was better than being at home where it rained pretty much all day! The conditions did make for a spectacular high tide with the sea coming in further than any of us had ever seen before. Large flocks of waders were continually flying up as they were disturbed by the waves. The highlight of the day was a green-winged teal, an American sub-species of the common teal. The main distinguishing feature to be able to tell the two birds apart is a vertical white line on the breast of the green-winged teal whereas the common teal has a horizontal white line along its body. One small drawback was a lack of small birds flitting around in the hedgerows along the lanes- although a leucistic chaffinch (a chaffinch with a lot of white in its plumage) was another highlight, and we did see a swimming hare. It had been marooned on the saltmarsh by the tide. It would have been safe if it had stayed where it was, but it took the decision to jump. After a few false alarms when it didn't seem to know where it was going, it eventually struck out for firm ground. It disappeared behind a gorse bush and I would like to think that it made it safely to shore.
Despite the conditions , a good day's birding was had, and a full list of birds seen was:
Cormorant; Grey heron; Mute swan; Whooper swan; Pink-footed goose; Greylag goose; Canada goose; Barnacle goose; Shelduck; Mallard; Gadwall; Pintail; Shoveler; Wigeon; Teal; Green-winged teal; Tufted duck; Kestrel; Peregrine falcon; Merlin; Moorhen; Grey plover; Golden plover; Lapwing; Dunlin; Redshank; Black-tailed godwit; Bar-tailed godwit; Curlew; Snipe; Black-headed gull; Herring gull; Lesser black-backed gull; Stock dove; Wood pigeon; Collared dove; Great spotted woodpecker; Skylark; Dunnock; Robin; Song thrush; Blackbird; Great tit; Coal tit; Blue tit; Treecreeper; Carrion crow; Starling; House sparrow; Tree sparrow; Chaffinch; Goldfinch; Greenfinch.