Birding highlights can come from some surprising directions!
Sometimes when you go out birding the highlight of the day can come from some surprising directions.
During the latter part of the spring I was visiting Northumberland with a couple of good friends. Our main interest was the hope of seeing and hearing a Marsh Warbler that had been present for a short while. This was a species that none of us had seen for some time; so we were quite excited with the prospect!
After a nervous wait the bird began to sing, We were soon treated to some great views.
This was a great opportunity to study the intricacies of this subtle acro. However this scarcity was not the biggest excitement of the day; neither was the amazing views of a Short-eared Owl at Cresswell Pond!
The biggest excitement came in the form of a group of birds that were almost certainly escapes or from feral populations on the near continent.
This group of geese were a complete surprise. They were pristine and stunningly beautiful birds. These birds were behaving as if they were wild; though we knew that their provenance was almost certainly questionable!
Bar-headed Geese are a species that breed in central Asia; their migration takes them over the top of the Himalayas flying at a staggering 29,000+ feet altitude. Astounding stuff! This species is often mooted as a potential vagrant to the UK! However given the already extant feral populations and ‘escapes at large‘ a true vagrant would be nigh on impossible to prove!
For me, the questions that cannot be answered, the possibilities and raw wonder are the most exciting aspects of birding!