Sunday, 13 February 2011

Egyptian Goose

Yesterday afternoon I received a text from Paul Slade informing me of an Egyptian Goose present on a lake south of Nateby near Garstang. Last year one was present near Cockerham between the 23rd of February and 3rd March, yet for some reason I never went for it and have regretted it ever since as Egyptian Geese are rare on the Fylde so I didn't think I would get another chance in a hurry. My dad agreed to take me in the morning so I arrived at the lake at 10:30. The description from the text said to take the footpath 350 yards south and view the lake to the west, sounds simple? Well the footpath was very over grown and didn't seem to have been used very much, and also the field that you had to view from was extremely muddy meaning I nearly slipped over a few times; couple this with difficult viewing through 2 different lines of trees between me and the lake you can imagine it wasn't easy.

As I set up my scope I spotted a familiar figure walking towards me across the field, Len Blacow who I did my work experience and volunteering work with and also a top local birder. We started searching the lake from out view point but with only 50% visible it was difficult. A nice flock of 5 Goosander (2 male) were present along with 2 Teal and a single Oystercatcher roosting on a pontoon. A flock of feral geese were present on the fields to the right of the lake, 12 Greylag, 5 Barnacle and 2 Chinese Swan Geese, but the Egyptian goose wasn't with them. However after about 20 minutes I eventually spotted the Egyptian Goose (year tick) swimming across the lake towards the far bank and managed to get Len onto it. Obviously the origins of these birds are always dubious but it's going on the list as when it hauled itself out of the water we could see that it was unringed.

Regular readers of the blog may have noticed that I haven't yet left the Fylde during 2011, this is because I am focusing on the Fylde Bird Club Yearlist Challenge this year and want to be competitive as the past 2 year I have finished 11/14. If you want to keep up to date on how everyone is doing check out this link Fylde Yearlist 2011.

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