December 12th   Leave a comment

Pinf-footed Geese

I walked through the fields around Wormiston this morning. There were at least 1500 pink-footed geese spread between a harvested potato field, a stubble field and a winter wheat field. They were fairly tolerant of me walking about a field away although they eventually moved one field along to all end up in the winter wheat field. I felt a bit guilty when someone then had to trudge out from Wormiston Farm to put them off again to stop them trampling (or eating) the crop. As the weather is getting a bit milder I expect them to move back further inland so the farmer will get a respite in any case.

I was walking over the fields looking for the lapland bunting flock that was present up until the end of October. I haven’t looked since and there are still plenty of stubble fields so there is no real reason for them to have moved on. True to form I found them in with a large skylark flock. Only 8 or so Lapland buntings this time instead of 80, but I only checked one of about 4 potentially good looking stubble fields in the area where the flock has been present. I finally had a good view of one on the ground. I am still amazed at how hard they are to see even when you know they are just 20 meters away in the stubble.

Another highlight of the morning was a flock of 9 mute swans flying over Crail. We see more whooper swans than mute swans around Crail; this is only my third or fourth record. There was also a juvenile hen harrier and a couple of brambling at Wormiston House: both are unusual. Bramblings are more common on passage but there are plenty of beech trees at Wormiston to keep a few bramblings happy through a winter. On my walk from Denburn to Wormiston I also put up 19 woodcock. They are everywhere at the moment along the edges of wooded areas by fields.

Posted December 19, 2010 by wildcrail in Sightings

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