Freezing and windy goose watching

After reading local reports of rare goose galore at the Old Lake, we agreed with Dani to go out this morning to find some of them. We woke up early and realized the heavy rain as looked through the window. Anyway we walked to the observation tower as that was a nice shelter from rain.


Winter plumaged Black-headed Gull. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The rain couldn’t have been problematic but the strengthening and chilly wind was really annoying. It was hard to keep the tripod and spotting scope steady. The number of geese has dropped by more than 10 thousand most probably due to the mild weather and the increased water level. The large mud island has disappeared which was a roosting site for the geese.

Birds seen this morning:

Great Cormorant 20
Mute Swan 12
Greater White-fronted Goose 10,500
Tundra Bean Goose 7,000
Mallard 500
Eurasian Teal 100
Northern Pintail 2
Common Pochard 60
Common Goldeneye 30
Tufted Duck 10
Eurasian Coot 50
Black-headed Gull 1,300
Mew Gull 600
Yellow-legged Gull 100

Yesterday a Lesser White-fronted Goose and a Barnacle Goose were seen by other local birders while two days ago a Brant Goose was spotted.