Reports Of The Demise Of V49 Are Premature

I was back at Little Singleton before work this morning. Again I struggled to find many geese, initially I could see only three Pinkfeet, but as more joined them on the sandbanks it became clear there were hundreds in the saltmarsh.

V35 from Svalbard was present for at least its third day. The white neck collar is really easy to pick out even at long range, but I did see it close enough to read the code. I also got the life history of the bird this morning from Professor Jesper Madsen, which follows below.

Jesper also sent me the life history for its mate, V49. When seen together in January 2021 near Carlisle the collar for the latter was in a bad way and Jesper said it could easily have shed this. So I looked at my dodgy pictures from this morning, and sure enough V35 was associating with a bird that had a metal ring on the same leg.

Fuzzy I know, but you can see a ring on both birds on the lower right leg

As well as that bit of detective work I eventually managed to pick out three Barnacle Geese. Ordinarily black and white geese stick out like sore thumbs in flocks of brown birds, but Barnies are diminutive and it was a long time before I saw their heads poking out above the vegetation.

A Chiffchaff called from the trees alongside the path as I left. It’s probably part of a large arrival today, but they do winter so it’s difficult to be certain. The first proper spring migrants are definitely here though, and like the Whoopers before them the Pinkfeet will be off soon.

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