Feb 16, 2012

Ross's goose?

This is the Ross’s goose that’s hanging out with greylags in an area around the decca station Dounby. At the moment there has been no positive id on the bird. It maybe that its an escape from a collection or garden, after all a great many decide the grass looks greener on the free side of the fence. Lecuistic birds and domestics make up much of the white geese we see in wintering flocks, then to confuse things more there are the Snow geese. There are a few escapees dotted about geese flocks all over the UK and trying to split them up into proper wild birds and plastics is often the cause of contention. Over on Copinsay there is at least one snow goose that’s wintered there for a couple of years. If its migrated the summer grounds of those greylags then I personally would have to vote them as wild birds. Back to the Ross’s though. This is a goose that is similar to Snow geese and mixes freely with them, they are also almost identical which didn’t bode well for ID. Once we eventually located the bird (parking besides Morris a good location tip) The bird fell in to view. It was petite compared to the lags it was with. The smallish head and short neck were obvious as it moved about feeding and stretching. The black primary’s were folded well back but obvious when the wings were stretched. The black turned to grey as the colour moved back along the wings and not only the primary dark but the secondary’s as well. This is something the doesn’t sit well for an ID but may well be the last stages of the bird moulting into its adult plumage. The bill was short with no sign of the Snow gooses grin patch. Both legs were clear of rings and as the birds all went up the small size of the Ross,s was obvious to see amongst the greylags. I don’t ken what the pros will make of it but I can see no reason that this isnt an arctic bird that should have headed south of its range to winter in southern California or Mexico but has ended up here on the wrong side of the atlantic. After all if Purple sandpipers and Wheatears can do it I cant see why this bird didn’t follow the same route as well….tick I reckon!!.....Well a couple of hours later and i have been looking at Morris's pics on orkbird and am a lot less sure of my stance now. The bill looks a bit off compered to the photos of the five that have been seen in the UK over the last twelve days....standing back and holding my breath now...lol

No comments:

Post a Comment