7th January: Barnacle Geese Again

I went for my usual end of the day visit to the floods and today chose to view from the west river bank. There I discovered a flock of 45 BARNACLE GEESE just on the other side of the river where a bit of a grass island is emerging as the waters recede. This morning Dai John had seen a flock of this size fly off over the hill from Farmoor towards the Meadow so they were clearly the same birds. Interestingly, whilst watching them I met a chap who lives in Binsey and who says that he saw a flock of about 75 Barnacle Geese flying around on Saturday before it split into two. 30 birds were then seen on Saturday on the floods up until early afternoon so this is probably the other half of that flock. Anyway, after some discussion with Ian Lewington (the county recorder) he agrees that they are in all probability from one of the feral Home Counties flocks and therefore would qualify as Category C birds. Great news for county listers!

Apart from that there were about 10 PINTAIL, a couple of GOOSANDER, a SHELDUCK and a very large but rather distant gull roost from which a couple of YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS were the best I could manage.

Other news, Tom Evans also reported a WATER RAIL in the Trap Grounds on Sunday along with his splendid Firecrest so that's another year tick.

A couple of digiscoped snaps of the Barnies...

And some video footage for good measure

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