Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sighting from Kent...

One of our marked geese, PUWR, has been sighted on 02 May 2016 in a flock of around 20 pale-bellied brent, by Scott Haughie at Pegwell Bay, near Ramsgate, in Kent. This represents, by far, the most easterly record we have ever had from the south coast of England (in fact it is just around the corner, heading north from Dover), the previous record having come from Hampshire. Scott tells us that pale-bellies are extremely scarce at this location, with the general assumption there being that any brent geese encountered will be dark-bellied. The bird arrived there at around 10 am on an outgoing tide. The Portland Bird Observatory website records an notable influx the same evening.
This bird had been a regular throughout the winter on the salt-marshes at Regneville in Normandy, and had last been recorded from there by Alain Livory & Roselyne Coulomb at 15:30 on 30 April 2016.
There has been conjecture for some time about the boundaries of the wintering ranges between our East Canadian High Arctic flyway population and those of the East Atlantic flyway, and this represents yet another interesting piece in the jigsaw.

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