Wednesday, 9 December 2009
RED-BREASTED GOOSE in SOUTH DEVON
The adult RED-BREASTED GOOSE is still present at Topsham today, feeding with 500 Dark-bellied Brent Geese close to Darts Farm on the Clyst Marshes.
On October 28th, the day after the Black Throated Thrush was found on nearby Dartmoor, Matthew Knott found what was presumably this bird on his daily check of Blackill Quarry Pool, a mile inland of Exmouth. This is a fenced off pool in a large open valley that attracts Teal, Little Grebe and Tufted Duck and a sizeable daily roost of up to 1,000 gulls. The bird was by itself and happy feeding on the grassy peninsula at the south end of the pool (see Dave Stone's photograph above). It was however unringed, fully winged and very nervous and would for instance even react before the 700 gull flock present did. The bird remained on site until November 26th, when it had been witnessed, especially at the latter half of its stay, by a steady stream of Devon based birders.
What was presumably the same bird was then relocated at the southern end of Bowling Green Marsh on December 3rd amongst several hundred Dark-bellied Brent Geese, in the field by the viewing platform and was still present on December 4th, allowing many of the keenest Devon listers to connect during that afternoon (contributed by Mark Bailey)