Saltfleetby. whitefronts and stuff.

4th Jan.

A couple of white-fronted geese had been seen for the previous few days in the area, mixed in with a pinkfeet flock. Myself and Ben searched for quite a while before we found them. We soon picked out the two suspects, one of them clearly a Eurasian and the other a Greenland race bird. After prolonged study of the recent Greenlands on my patch at Marston, the much darker looking specimen stood out as that species. However, despite looking very much like an adult in other respects (dark belly barring), a much smaller white blaze and a dark nail to the bill suggested a first winter bird.

Although always distant it was great to see the two standing side by side at one point. Neck longer on Greenland. Bill colour and shape different. Couldn’t discern much difference in overall size, though Ben thought G slightly larger. I thought the G looked a bit more streamlined.

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Light poor, Ben got few pics.

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On the foreshore we had a nice time, too. Ten snow buntings were with a large flock of finches- about 100 linnets and 30 twites. A dozen yellowhammers flitted from grass to bushes.

An impressive skein of pinkfeet followed the coast, South, seeming to head out towards the Norfolk direction, about 900 birds. At sea a red throated diver and a red breasted merganser flew North.

A friendly seal pup loafed on the beach.

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