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.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Half a Cackler

There is a large free-flying flock of Barnacle Geese based at Pensthorpe and birds from here are frequently encountered at Ryburgh.  Steve had seen a bird resembling a Cackling Goose among them last winter and had seen it again recently, and suspected it may not have been a pure bird.  I managed to connect with it on 9th June, though it was elusive and out of view for most of the time I was there.  Eventually I managed reasonable views of it and indeed everything wasn't quite right about it.  The dark breast relatively sharply demarcated from the paler belly seemed wrong for Cackling Goose and there was a fair bit of grey in the bases of the feathers on the upperparts, although this wasn't obvious.  It was surely a hybrid involving Barnacle Goose, presumably Cackling Goose x Barnacle Goose.  I think Cackling rather than Canada due to the extreme shortness of the bill - typical Canada x Barnacle hybrids are a bit longer-billed than this, and perhaps a bit bigger overall too.  On the other hand it can't be one of the smallest races of Cackling Goose involved (despite these generally also being the shortest-billed, and this was very short-billed) because it was too big for that.  Maybe Richardson's hutchinsii or perhaps Taverner's taverneri?

Cackling Goose x Barnacle Goose hybrid (with Barnacle Geese), Ryburgh, 9th June

This Green Sandpiper doesn't seem to be in a hurry to head north.  Maybe this is as far north as it will go this year?

Green Sandpiper, Ryburgh, 9th June

You have to be quick to get a shot of the Kingfisher when it visits - if it perches up close it never does so for more than a few seconds, and often it isn't facing the right way.

Kingfisher, Ryburgh, 9th June

Nice to see a Gadwall with 4 ducklings - though I haven't seen them again since.

Gadwall and ducklings, Ryburgh, 9th June

Goldfinch, Ryburgh, 9th June

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