Unexpected Snow And Other White Stuff

I had a day’s birding in the Liverpool area planned today as we were in the city for Jane to attend a seaglass course. Whilst I was at Crosby Marina news came through that the wintering Snow Goose had been relocated at Birkdale Cop, not too far away. So I decided to shelve plans and do some twitching for a change, as it’s a few years since I last saw a Snow Goose and even longer since one with decent credentials.

As I approached the general area I saw a small group of birders perusing a field. It looked a bit urban for geese but I assumed it was the right place and parked up round the bend. When I got back to the field there was only Paul Thomason there, who kindly put me on the ten Cattle Egret feeding with a number of Little Egret. This was the greatest number I had ever seen together in Britain, and an unexpected bonus.

Paul gave me some directions and said the Snow Goose had moved to a field further away from the road. When I got there it was back in the nearest field, and as the photos show stuck out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Snow Geese with Pinkfeet are something of a quandary. The escape risk cannot be discounted, but presumably some wild individuals get caught up with the obvious carrier species for a goose with a western origin. It felt a bit surreal to see Cattle Egrets and a Snow Goose on the same road barely a mile apart. I was reminded of an evening many years ago at Pilling Lane Ends where the twitchers assembled to watch the then very rare pair of Glossy Ibis coming in to roost saw them appear at virtually the same time as a Snow Goose with Pinkfeet. Unlikely combinations in both cases.

I returned to Crosby Marina in the hope of something blown in from the storms, and more of that another day (probably tomorrow).

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