Orcombe felt very 'birdy' this morning but there was nothing out of the ordinary. Pied Wagtails predominated overhead with just 2 Swallow, 2 Grey wagtail and small numbers of Meadow Pipit and a few finches otherwise. On the deck I recorded 16+ Goldcrest, 8+ Chiffchaff, 1 Stonechat, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 1 Coal Tit.
A quick look off the Imperial produced c1000+ Dark-bellied Brent Goose and with them, 6 Pale-bellied Brent Goose, the adult Black Brant and, of course, the Ridgway's Cackling Goose. A single Black-tailed Godwit flew over and, off Mudbank this afternoon, I recorded 18 Redshank, 33+ Turnstone, 4 Great Crested Grebe and 3 Red-breasted Merganser - the first I've seen for a while.
Diagonally left to right - Dark-bellied Brent, Black Brant and Pale-bellied Brent.
Sometimes the Black Brant sticks out like a sore thumb and other times it's really tricky.
Ridgway's Cackling Goose
The Ridgway's Cackling Goose continues to attract a steady stream of twitchers. Perhaps they've twigged that 'minima' breeds a spitting distance away from Russia - a short hop across the Bering Sea. In fact the Taymyr Peninsula in Russia (where Dark-bellied Brents breed) is about the same distance away from minima's breeding grounds as their wintering grounds in Western Oregon. It's just in the opposite direction. Food for thought........
This pair of morons continued on through the wildfowl flock even after I'd pointed out to them that the area is a protected one.
Unsurprisingly they forced the flock to take flight and move further out in to the river. At which point the air turned blue!
A Sparrowhawk leaves its mark on our garden this afternoon. This pic was taken through our kitchen window.
I agree with your thinking with the Cackling Goose. It's totally plausible that it could have been in the DB Brent's breeding area and tagged along to their migration to winter in the UK. Someone just has to convince the BOURC.
Fellow Exmouth birder Spencer
If you add the breeding range of Black Brant to that map, it becomes even more interesting...although of course it's clearly plastic until I see it on the Warren ;-)