Sunday, 18 February 2007

18th February - Bean Goose

Well I was sat at home feeling sorry for myself as I had not managed to get out birding so far this weekend, then my phone rang. It was Craig, he was phoning to tell me that Darren had just found another Bean Goose in with the Pink-footed Geese flock at Anthorn (of course had I checked my phone messages I would have already known this!). Anyway Craig was on his way to pick me up so we could go and see the bird!
...................meanwhile I received another text from Darren to say the farmer had just deliberately flushed the geese (I swore)! Anyway Craig was already on his way, so when he arrived we went to look anyway!
We decided to check Oulton first, nope no sign! Then Saltcoats, nope no sign. We did see 20+ Whoopers Swans in a field between Lessonhall at Saltcoates though! Next we decided to check the fields around Newton Arlosh. Still no sign of any large numbers of geese, though there were 160 Whooper Swans in the usual field between Anthorn and Angerton. This was becoming a wild goose chase (sorry, I know - just couldn't resist it!). We did a quick scoot around the Whitrigg Triangle, still no geese!
We took the road towards Anthorn and then wahoooooooo there was a pile of geese in a field viewable from the Longcroft - Anthorn road.
We jumped out of the car and started scanning the 1000 or so Pink-footed Geese. There were a few Barnacle Geese amongst the Pink-footed Geese. I found that there was a Pink-footed Goose with a neck collar. Then as if by magic Craig picked out the Bean Goose. The goose stood out quite strikingly with its darker back and bright orange legs! We has reasonable views of the bird before it sat down and began to roost!
We began scanning through the rest of the geese, when Nick turned up. After a short time Nick was also watching the Bean Goose as it woke up and began feeding! Nick also located one of these odd genetic throw backs, a Pink-footed Goose with orange legs!
Another car pulled up alongside us, it was one of those small 4x4 jeep things. I thought it was going to be the farmer coming to give us a bollocking (for no particular reason, I just have an innate guilty conscience). Anyway it wasn't, it was a just a local bloke who was interested in what we were looking at. Nice fella too!