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WHITLINGHAM: Record geese counts

30th June 2011

A pleasant evening at Whitlingham was notable for the large gatherings of geese on the broad. In fact, I managed to beat my highest counts of Mute Swan (123), Greylag (224), Canada Goose (64) and Egyptian Goose (54). This is not including birds on the river, which would have added another 16 swans and 37 Greylags. There was also the usual white geese and Swan Goose types, plus the presumed LWF x Ross' Goose, a Greylag x Canada Goose and a return for the Red-breasted x Barnacle hybrid, allowing me to get a few out-of-the-water shots of it. A minimum of 6 Common Terns were flying around too, another high count.

Walking around the north side of the broad I was surrounded by the sweet smell of Buddleia, which is hopefully covered in butterflies during the day. I could easily have missed out on a patch tick, but happened to be looking the right way when my first Whitlingham Turtle Dove belted past and across the river towards Thorpe. Watching a Stock Dove fly past a bit further round brought home just how fast Turtle Doves fly. I double checked the river edges for Grey Wagtails (I still am at a loss as to why I havent seen one here this year, I'd had 6 sightings at the equivalent date last year) with no luck. As I left I noticed a Black Swan on the Little Broad.

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