Thursday, 23 December 2010

67 White Fronted Geese!!!1!11 Had I been looking.

Bird news is almost always a good thing, but as with anything (apart from a Mobius strip...) it's got another side. The "oh-look-how-shit-at-patchwatching-you-missed-62-White-fronted-Geese-that-almost-definitely-flew-right-through-your-patch" side, as I have affectionately come to know it.

Because yes, indeed, yesterday I missed 62 White fronted Geese which flew upriver from the Barnes Wetlands Centre at 2.30. There are 3 main reasons this grates at me and makes me want to eat my own intestines in a slightly odd form of peaceful protest at all the Geese missing me by.

  1. I was on patch at 2.00.
  2. I was at home, 2 minutes sprint away from the river at 2.30. 
  3. Alternatively I have a roof which is a 1 Minute ascent and then typically a 25 minute awkward for the watching neighbours descent.

Unfortunately I don't have a pager nor know enough of the Barnes Crew to have got a heads up on the geese, although the Wetlands and Chiswick Eyot are so close it would have to be near instantaneous for me to stand a chance of getting on them. And these were birds that probably actually existed as well, as opposed to the Barnes triangle of 'Dodos' and 'Hoopoes' in the visitor books.

Anyway it's all irrelevant as I've moved on, went down the river today and found a mother fudgingly awesome bird. A Stock Dove looking very cold on the muddy foreshore. A single Snipe was visible although the tide meant they were probably feeding somewhere not so visible and a group of 5 Gadwall flew past this lone male.

Unintentionally arty shot of a Gadwall

Wannabe artsy shot of three crows.

Two groups totalling 12 Redwing flew East calling and nothing much else was going on. I convinced myself out of going to the Wetlands Centre in the afternoon based on the fact that it was really cold and I'd probably not see yesterday's 62 White fronts so instead I went and did some very last minute Crimbo shopping and a little bit of revision.

Happy days!


  1. I've only just discovered your blog, Louis. Your photography talents are quite something; I'm sure that's a Shoveler, though?

    I'm sure you will get White-fronted Goose locally soon, there's a bit of a movement through London at the moment and I've been keeping a keen eye out at Canons Farm.

    all the best


  2. Thanks for the comment DevilBirder, a little late I know :P Never did get any White fronts. One day I'm gonna have to accept being a dude! But that duck's an 100% Gadwall though: here's an even worse pic of it from a couple of seconds previous to that photos was taken: