The Tuesday classes returned to Friday's location, and the Black tern performed again, and was a lifer for all but one participant. Unfortunately, in the strong winds the Water Vole refused to show. The reserve was overrun with Feral Pigeons and Greylag Geese. However, Claude spotted an unusual bird among the latter which turned out to be a Lesser White-fronted Goose. This would be a very scarce wild bird. However, it is possibly an escapee from a wildfowl collection, so is considered a 'plastic bird' in twitching terms. This is even more certainly the case with the Bar-headed Goose also among the Greylags. This is a species, which in the wild migrates over the Himalyas, but here it was grazing happily among our native, noisy most abundant goose species. There was also a single Pink-footed Goose, but as these have just started to return from their summer breeding grounds the origin of this bird is more ambiguous.
A pair of Grey Wagtails in the afternoon, and 4 Siskins flying past were afternoon highlights, as was a Common Sandpiper in the morning. The Western edge of the reserve was coated with a layer of sand caused by the workings being affected by the strong winds. This layer of sand can be seen on the leaves in the photo of the female darter. It was also impossible not to swallow some of this sand, which was pouring through gaps in the hedge. Hopefully, these strong winds will soon abate.
Lesser White-fronted Goose
Pink-footed Goose [from the archive]
Common Darter coupling
Common Darter (female)