I am becoming a `Twitcher`! There, I`ve said it.
There has been a Lesser White-fronted goose at Buckenham Marshes RSPB in Norfolk for the past few weeks and I have stopped myself from going to see it, that was, until yesterday, when I made up my mind to go and see this rare goose.
I was up at silly o`clock and got to Buckenham at 7.30am just as the sun was coming up. A flock of feral Barnacle Geese was seen and also a rather large flock of European White-fronted Geese, but no Lesser White-front. This goose has been seen hanging around with Taiga Bean Geese and as yet this flock had not shown up. I started to walk along the track towards the area where my friend Chris Orders had seen the goose earlier in the week and arrived just as the Taiga Beans flew in. They were extremely distant, to say the least, but I started patiently scanning. The wind started blowing, knocking my scope and tripod over twice, making it very difficult to focus, but I got my first view of a Lesser White-fronted Goose! The view was distant and shaky, but obvious with the birds large white blaze on its head, but too far for any photos. The photo below has been kindly given to me by Chris Orders, just to give you a taster.
The Lesser White-fronted Goose is a goose that has courted controversy over the years, with the last accepted truly wild bird being seen at Slimbridge in 2003. Subsequent birds seen have been assumed to be birds that have escaped from collections and so haven`t counted. The particular individual at Buckenham was seen to arrive with Taiga Bean Geese, a known `carrier` of Lesser White-fronts and so has been accepted as being of truly wild origin.
This goose is becoming truly rare in Europe, a reintroduction has taken place in Fenno-Scandia, but as yet this has proved unsuccessful. The goose at Buckenham Marshes may be the last one of its kind ever to grace the shores of the U.K., a sobering thought.