Saturday, 18 October 2008

Rainford Mosslands

Ross's Goose 1 adult (Old Coach Road)
Pink-footed Geese 7000+ (5000+ around Old Coach Road, 2000+ Kings Moss)
Fieldfare big influx - at least 300 birds across the mosslands.
Redwing big influx - at least 200 birds.
Corn Bunting 1 singing male at Reed's Brow, Rainford.
Tree Sparrow 2 at Reed's Brow, Rainford.

I'm running out of superlatives to describe the scences at the Old Coach Road. My first view of the geese, was of a flock of about 5000 on Simonswood moss, viewable distantly from the Coach Road. Then as a I watched, small flocks started to leave the roost, and headed south along the Coach Road. I could see the Ross's Goose on the ground, but for a long time it refused to fly.

Then eventually it flew, and headed south with the other birds.

I jumped back on my bike and headed south with the geese. As I got to Woodside farm, near the East Lancs (and clearly in St Helens folks!), I found the flock, about 5000 birds on the ground near the farm, with the light right on them. I quicky picked out the Ross's Goose and watched it for 10 minutes at reasonably close range, until a farm vehicle came past and flushed them. It was an awsome spectactacle - the light was perfect, I could see every detail on every bird, a tightly packed flock of geese rising with deafening sound, and in the middle, a snowy white little goose, with black wing tips, distinguishing it from the superficially similar leucistic Pink-feet which are with the flock.

If you go to see this bird, please do not drive down Dairy Farm Road or the Old Coach Road.

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