Sunday, 17 February 2008

Wild Goose Chase

The news that a reasonable sized flock of White-fronted Geese and a smaller number of Barnacle Geese had arrived on Worth Marshes seemed worthy of a look. It seemed that the best view was from the hide a the "Rest Harrow" scrape hide. Looking over the top of a good number of duck, with Wigeon the most numerous a line of geese feeding out in the fields behind could be made out.
As usual with geese in East Kent they were easy to see and watch through a telescope but were not cooperative enough to allow pictures, a theme that continues throughout the day. Amongst these geese was a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose, along with quite a few Greylags. The observatory reported 72 White-fronts and 47 Barnacles today. There was also a single Whooper Swan amongst the distant Mute Swans out on the marsh.
I wasn't the only one taking a gambol (?) on the marshes.

Many of the field have been ploughed and are bare, waiting for the growth of the next crop. With no cover this pair of Grey Partridges were very obvious, even when they sat down. This seemed to be an "Ostrich" like response to me stopping to watch them, but once again they were quite distant before they stopped.

Out in the Bay, and just as distant, were small groups of Great Crested Grebes. Although they are out there every year, it still seems strange that a bird normally encountered on inland waters (and following the theme of a couple of days ago, one of the big winners) spends a lot of time on the sea in winter. There were about 30 in view and a couple of Red-throated Divers were a bit further out.