Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Lesser White-fronted Goose at Potter Heigham

Norman, Brian and I decided to have a stab at the Hoopoe (despite very cold easterlies!) In the event we enjoyed a long walk in good company (old acquaintance Mike and even older one Eric Thompson!) but saw only a tiny male Peregrine. The Hoopoe was, I believe, seen later in the day, but we'd already moved on to Hickling NNT Reserve.

Willow Warblers were everywhere, but a long walk failed to produce much else until we reached Bittern Hide. No Bitterns, but a charming female birder showed us some terrific images she'd taken previously. Finally the birds took pity on us: a Great White Egret showed splendidly, followed by several Cranes and a Little Egret.

It was still early, so we decided to drive the short distance to Potter Heigham. A cup of coffee and some purchases bought us three hours parking: we slogged out to the scrapes, more in hope than anticipation. Norman muttered:
"Come on: use your 'magic' to find this goose!'
Ten seconds later, I did! The delightful Lesser White-front was with a group of Greylags on the near bank. Small, dapper and beautifully-marked, the bird was timid and watchful and bore no leg-irons that we could see (or photograph) When the flock became aware of a walker, the LWF was the first - by half a minute - to fly off. An escape? A Dutch re-intro? Who knows. A beautiful little goose, whatever, and one we were chuffed to see well.

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