A diary of my birding activity covering highlights and photos from my birding adventures. Mainly Norfolk (UK), occasionally beyond. I might mention the odd thing that isn't avian, but for moth and other insect news check out my mothing diary.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Small Canada Goose

A visit to Ryburgh on Saturday 24th May produced an interesting Canada Goose.  It seemed to be paired to an ordinary Canada Goose but was noticeably smaller and obviously shorter-necked.  Probably not small enough to be any of the Cackling Goose taxa so presumably one of the smaller Canada Goose taxa, like Lesser Canada Goose (parvipes) maybe?  The bill wasn't obviously different from the normal birds but perhaps a wee bit shorter.  The head shape seemed slightly squared but not as much as say Richardson's hutchinsii.  There was no difference in breast colour - just as pale as the other birds.  Is this within range for parvipes Lesser Canada Goose?  I'm not sure it fits any of the other taxa any better, but I suppose there's a chance it could have been a Cackling (e.g. Richardson's hutchinsii) x Canada hybrid.  Whatever it was it seems pretty likely that it came from Pensthorpe or some other collection, rather than being a natural vagrant from North America!  Note how the tertials are very worn compared to the accompanying Canada Geese.  I've been back to Ryburgh many times over the past month and haven't seen this bird again.

presumed escaped possible Lesser Canada Goose (race parvipes), Ryburgh, 24th May

Plenty of Barnacle Geese around at the moment too (also from Pensthorpe where they have a large free-flying flock, I understand), but it's unusual for them to visit the scrape.

Barnacle Geese, Ryburgh, 24th May

A bit of Lapwing vs. Grey Heron interaction...

Grey Heron, Ryburgh, 24th May

Common Tern, Ryburgh, 24th May

That evening Dave and I headed up to Gypsy Lane, Brancaster for some mothing.  A Spoonbill was feeding on the grazing marsh before flying off east, and 2 more Spoonbills flew east.  We heard a Whimbrel calling.

An afternoon/evening visit to Burnham Overy on 29th produced a Great White Egret over, 3 Spoonbills, Sparrowhawk, a Barn Owl carrying what looked like it might have been a mole, 3 Cuckoos and a family of Stonechats.

Other visits to various sites in the valley and surrounds have been largely uneventful - this Little Ringed Plover dropped in briefly but didn't stick around long.  A Marsh Harrier was seen the same day.

Little Ringed Plover, Ryburgh, 30th May

Grey Herons will happily take ducklings for lunch but it seems this Little Egret wasn't interested - and neither did the mother Mallard have any concern that it might be.

Little Egret and Mallards, Ryburgh, 30th May

I only occasionally see the Grey Wagtail at Ryburgh but when I do it often shows very nicely and I can't resist taking some photos.

Grey Wagtail, Ryburgh, 31st May

I shared some great birding moments with Mike Young-Powel in the mid 90s when he lived at Cley and birded Sheringham but he moved away to Pembrokeshire in 1997 and I'd not seen him since.  Seeing he was back in Norfolk for a few days I got in touch and Mike, Cathy and I headed out to Burnham Overy together on Wednesday 31st May.  Mike and Cathy had had a great start to their week finding Red-footed Falcon and Purple Heron but we didn't manage anything quite so exciting today.  We did see Great White Egret, Spoonbill and at least one Cuckoo, Cathy picked up a Yellow Wagtail in the saltmarsh and we watched a drake Common Scoter in the channel south of Gun Hill.  But regardless of the birds it was great to catch up with Mike and Cathy again after such a long time.  Hopefully the next time won't be so long.

Little Tern, Burnham Overy, 31st May

Cuckoo, Burnham Overy, 31st May

Ringed Plover, Burnham Overy, 31st May

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