Record breaker Red-breasted Goose

A short yet very exciting morning has been behind me. At 6AM I joined my friends for birding at the Old Lake of Tata (Hungary). Though it is the end of November we had a pleasant and mild weather this morning. The water level is perfect as it should be at this time of the year. This ensures an ideal and safe environment for the wintering geese. Today we counted about 25,000 wild geese.

This is the usual picture from the observation tower in every winter. Greater White-fronted and Tundra Bean Geese with an adult Lesser White-fronted Goose somewhere in the mass. Can you find it? iPhone digiscoped by Daniel Szimuly

This is the usual picture from the observation tower in every winter. Greater White-fronted and Tundra Bean Geese with an adult Lesser White-fronted Goose somewhere in the mass. Can you find it? iPhone digiscoped by Daniel Szimuly

The Red-breasted Goose flock among the Greater White-fronted and Tundra Bean Goose mix. Digiscoped by Máté Szabó

The Red-breasted Goose flock among the Greater White-fronted and Tundra Bean Goose mix. Digiscoped by Máté Szabó

Another part of the Red-breasted Goose flock. Digiscoped by Máté Szabó

Another part of the Red-breasted Goose flock. Digiscoped by Máté Szabó

Species without numbers:
Great Crested Grebe
Great Cormorant
Greater White-fronted Goose
Tundra Bean Goose
Greylag Goose
Lesser White-fronted Goose 1 ad.
Red-breasted Goose 33
Mallard
Eurasian Teal
Eurasian Wigeon
Eurasian Shoveler
Northern Pintail
Common Pochard
Grey Heron
Great White Egret
Black-headed Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Caspian Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Mew Gull
Black Woodpecker
Rook
Hooded Crow
European Nuthatch

The number of Red-breasted Geese broke every record here. We have never counted as many of this gorgeous goose species as today. The previous record was 24 on the Old Lake.

We also managed to read the code of a neck ring on a Greater White-fronted Goose. The black ring with white characters are as follows: 7NK. This bird has a nice migration history which is worth another blog post.

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Short birding walk

While Dani just had a lifer Lesser White-fronted Goose in my hometown in Hungary, I finally managed to do some birding around the Mount Farm Lake (or pit) in Bletchley. I simply wanted to enjoy being outside and to take deep breaths of the chilling morning air. The lake provided the regular and a less exciting bird community but the lights were absolutely gorgeous which made it special after all.

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The Mount Farm Pit is a little lake surrounded by industrial buildings. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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Mute Swans and Eurasian Coots are the most common residents of the lake. © Gyorgy Szimuly

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Lakeside bushes were empty but a few European Robins and Dunnocks was seen. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Black-headed Gulls were dominant louders. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Black-headed Gulls were dominant louders. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The adjacent park is home for Eurasian Blackbirds, Common Wood Pigeons, Common Magpies and Great Tits. © Gyorgy Szimuly

The adjacent park is home for Eurasian Blackbirds, Common Wood Pigeons, Common Magpies and Great Tits. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Fall colours never fail to amaze me. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Fall colours never fail to amaze me. © Gyorgy Szimuly

List of birds seen:

Canada Goose 2
Mute Swan 31
Mallard 16
Tufted Duck 13
Great Crested Grebe 4
Great Cormorant 2
Grey Heron 3
Common Moorhen 4
Eurasian Coot 88
Black-headed Gull 52
Common Gull 1
European Herring Gull 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull 2
Stock Dove 70
Common Wood Pigeon 13
Common Magpie 13
Carrion Crow 12
Great Tit 5
Eurasian Blue Tit 1
Eurasian Wren 3
European Robin 6
Eurasian Blackbird 3
Dunnock 3
Eurasian Bullfinch 5
European Siskin 1
European Goldfinch 7

Staying at my ‘social media’ friends: an alternative way of birding abroad?

Kelp Goose in Patagonia. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Kelp Goose in Patagonia. © Gyorgy Szimuly

Just for fun and curiosity I posted a question to my Facebook page whether I could make birding trips abroad staying in the home of my social media friends to reduce costs. This is especially interesting knowing that I have almost 3.500 Facebook friends, over 1.200 followers on Twitter and a few hundreds on LinkedIn. If only a fraction of the friends would offer me/us a room to stay for a few days I could reach some awesome birding destinations. Based on the responses I have already received or I will get, I make a map of the ‘offers’. Any new offer will be added to the map. Send your words as a comment here in the blog or with my posts on my Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn wall.

Needless to say that any of my friends who I have ever or never communicated with is warmly welcomed in our humble home including an introduction and guidance to local birdlife.

The map with locations of friends who already responded can be seen here.