Sunday, 13 November 2011

Good goose

Ian and I hit the patch again early morning. After half an hour or so we got onto a small, dark, compact 'goose' with large white forewing patches flying towards Burgh Heath pond - it quickly got far away and I was struggling to see over a tall hedge. Clearly an Egyptian-type thing but before I could study its head it was flying away from us, calling appropriately, however. Because I couldn't rule out the only other possibility, Ruddy Shelduck, and didn't know how similar a one's vocalisations are to an Egyptian's, I was overly cautious and didn't log it. Ian and I talked about it and he said how he got the dark-on-pale markings on the head; we looked up Ruddy Shelduck's calls which were very much different. Egyptian Goose it was then - RS would be very unlikely anyway. Patch year tick! Also at Canons today: Brambling, 2 Stonechats, fly-over Cormorant etc. What was very frustrating was when I was with Roy later in the day and he pointed out two large gulls flying north west. They were high and flying away but were adult black-backeds; they appeared big, bulky and solid dark on top but with no views of the wingtip pattern or Herring Gulls for size comparison so we wouldn't be filling in a CFBW Rarity Form if there were such a thing.

Canons Farm & Banstead Woods Year List 2011: 102 (94 at this point last year)