Last goose day of the past winter season

Yes, the winter has gone just like the goose. Tens of thousands wintering wild geese has moved further north leaving the favoured Old Lake empty. This morning we come together to feel the mixture of winter and the intrusive spring at the same time. Luckily only the presence of a few hundred wintering goose reminded us of the severe winter.


Wild geese are leaving the Old Lake, Tata for a few months. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Dani and me were out very early. Still in dawn I heard very inaudible call of a Long-eared Owl. As I imitated their call they responded immediately. Soon after two birds were flying over the pine trees of the local park. Geese flew off very early this morning. Still in dawn 50 birds left the lake just before we reached the observation tower.

Number of ducks were also very low compared to our previous visit. Display of Common Goldeneyes were seen through the Swarovski scope providing a beautiful morning picture.


Common Wood Pigeons have recently returned back to the their breeding sites. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Records of today:
Great Crested Grebe 14
Great Cormorant 6
Pygmy Cormorant 1
Mute Swan 1
Greater White-fronted Goose 250
Tundra Bean Goose 50
Mallard 80
Eurasian Teal 65
Common Pochard 48
Tufted Duck 28
Common Goldeneye 60
Common Merganser 4
Grey Heron 2
Northern Lawing 14
Yellow-legged Gull 35
Mew Gull 45
Black-headed Gull 250
Common Kingfisher 1
Common Wood Pigeon 2
Grey-headed Woodpecker 1 male
Middle Spotted Woodpecker 4
Great Spotted Woodpecker 3
Short-toed Treecreeper 2
Common Starling 25
Mistle Thrush 5
Eurasian Bullfinch 4 

We had an awesome view on a male Grey-headed Woodpecker on the southern part of the lake. We could watch it through the scope for minutes. On our way back home we found 14 migrating Northern Lapwings heading shout east.

In the afternoon I counted a record number of Pygmy Cormorants flying over to their night roosting site. 232 birds crossed the Old Lake within 40 minutes!


3 thoughts on “Last goose day of the past winter season

  1. Are they breeding there? I wish I was finding a Barn Owl which became very rare here. Extinct in most part of my county. 😦


  2. Hi Szimi Long-eared Owls are uncommon breeders. I think it would be fair to say under recorded.  We are very fortunate in that Barn Owls are quite common in west Suffolk and west Norfolk, though they owe their success to a number of nest box schemes. Little and Tawny Owl are common breeding birds. Short-eared Owls breed in northern England and Scotland, they winter in the area where I live. burhinus

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