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Goose passage Ness and North Uist recently

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BrianR
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Goose passage Ness and North Uist recently

Post by BrianR » 13 Apr 2016, 13:06

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Some Pink-feet - I was somewhat remiss of taking photos of exceptional goose passage today
There was a massive movement of geese over North Uist on 10th between 09.20 and 15.45 hours. Most were in the Balranald NR area with others near Kyles-paible and in the Callernish area. Needless to say pretty difficult to get any accurate counts. There were at least 6,650 Barnacles heading N or NW (some stopping briefly but then soon moving through) and 6,625 on the ground (possible, but unlikely, that some 2,000 on the ground at Aird an Runair may have been among the 3,500 or so seen by Dave Britton in the Callernish area in the afternoon). Only 62 Greenland White-fronts were identified but Pink-feet were much in evidence with at least 1,700 (all but some 50 with Barnacles on the ground in the Callernish area) N between 10.25 and 14.38 hours. With at least 1,750 geese not identified a total in excess of 16,750 during the day. And I'm sure I missed some others. A few other species N or NW included 62 Whooper Swans and 30 Golden Plover.

The Great White Egret continues in residence and a Glaucous Gull is still around. There was no sign of the Gyrfalcon - I believe it was reported flying off to NW near Loch na Reivil at 12.30 hours yesterday. René saw three Sand Martins at Port Scolpaig, there were two Slavonian Grebes and a single White Wagtail at Aird an Rùnair and yesterday Dave Britton noted a couple of Black-tailed Godwits at Loch nam Feithean.

BrianR
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Re: Goose passage Ness and North Uist recently

Post by BrianR » 13 Apr 2016, 13:10

It was interesting to read Tony's account for Ness on the 10th as unlike North Uist there was steady rain and visibility no more than a couple of miles and consequently no geese were seen passing through. Tony also mentioned many geese being seen over South Uist and over the west coast of the mainland. On the following day a Europie resident reported ‘thousands’ heading SE-NW through the Loch Stiapavat valley between 07.00-08.30 hours while Tony watching at the Butt of Lewis between 10.00 and 10.45 hours saw 1,300 (six flocks - 500 were Pink-feet the rest too far out for certain identification) come up through The Minch and headed off NW.

Today at the Butt a total of about 6,000 (in 17 flocks, smallest 75 and largest 800) passed through in the usual direction in just over an hour (08.00-09.10 hours). Only 100 could be identified as Pink-feet, all others being too far out for identification. Also three large flocks were reported heading NW at Europie around 08.00 hours.

On Sunday Tony counted 48 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, while yesterday new arrivals on Loch Stiapavat were a Shelduck and two Gadwall, the first Black-tailed Godwit of the spring was seen and a Glaucous Gull was still around.

The only goose passage noted at Aird an Rùnair yesterday was a flock of 58 Barnacles that flew N. There were still some 1,200 on the ground together with five Pink-feet and eight pale-bellied Brent. One was seen to be colour-ringed - information from Graham McElwaine, Re-sightings Co-ordinator, Irish Brent Goose Research Group - ringed 06/03/2015 at Portmarnock Public Park, Co. Dublin and last observed Malahide Estuary, near Dublin, 22/02/2016.

Another earlier interesting sighting of a colour-ringed bird on North Uist was made by David Henshilwood on 24th March at Lagan Arnal. This bird had been ringed in the High Arctic Canada during the Group's last expedition there in the summer of 2014 and last recorded from Keadew Bay on the County Donegal coast in January of this year.

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