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Friday, 30 October 2009

Radde's Warbler 0 Brent Geese 3


Early on Friday morning before work I joined a small throng of birders at the southern end of Arnold's Walk, hoping for a repeat showing from a Radde's Warbler that had been found the day before by local birder Robert Win. This is a rare bird from Central Asia & a super find and all credit to Robert who regularly works this patch and I know this is one of his favourite birds. They have a reputation of being very elusive and sadly for us latecomers, it lived up to it's reputation because we didn't see it!
At work, I had a very welcome interruption early on in my lunchbreak, to help Peter A use the Ancestry website. Peter is a well known & respected local birder who must hold the record for the most number of rare finds (just yesterday he'd seen a Richard's Pipit fly over at Breydon!) and maximum flock counts on Breydon Water and he has found many first ever records of various waders for Norfolk on his local patch.
Peter told me of some very confiding Brent Geese that he had just seen on the south side of Breydon water.
I decided to use the rest of my lunch break to have a quick half hour look for them. So taking the turn past the Rugby pitch, I parked at the small car park and walked right up to the southern shore of Breydon.  Just 200 yards north I could see all 3 immature Brent Geese feeding quite close by the water's edge and amongst the rocks. All three had 3 indistinct white wing bars and an almost incompltete white neck collar proving they were immature birds. They were very confiding and they then swam slowly left, 2 birds taking the lead and a third bird following then about 10 meters behind. This third bird had a different shaped bill with the tip of the upper mandible dropping at a sharp angle. Causing a sharp triangular bill shape, very odd compared to the usual delicate bill!
All three birds swam around the water's edge and fed amongst the seaweed encrusted rocks.
The whole period of observation was very neatly "shoe horned" into the final half hour of my lunchbreak and I was pleased with the photos that I obtained.

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