Saturday, 28 April 2012

Snow Goose

The Spring of 2012 is making a strong claim to be the Worst Spring Ever: still hardly any summer migrants in and its nearly May. A couple of Whitethroats uttered a little song into the easterly gale and driving rain. There is a tree blown down across the main tractor access to some of the fields and a few windblown Swallows were blown past, exhausted.  Events took a surreal turn when out of the wet murk above the Thame valley flew a single white morph Snow Goose. Technically this is a new species for the area, but there was none of the emotional reaction that usually follows finding a first for one's local patch. This bird has wild credentials on a par with my neighbours rabbit. It's genes may have originated in North America, but proving this bird is a wild migrant is impossible with so many escaped birds of domestic stock in the country.

On a more positive note the River Thame is just about to burst its banks. Weeks of rain are promising to deliver something I have only dreamt about: Spring floods! The habitat in these parts is generally very poor and it is only when floods occur that I get the chance to find a few interesting species. Some winter floods have occurred, see here, here and here, but not recently. However, imagine what could turn up if there were floods in a migration period, say early May? The mind boggles: dare I predict Snipe? Or even Redshank?! With heavy rain forecast for tomorrow and showers all next week and with the first flood water already gathering, the possibilities are endless... or not, as the case may be, this is Birdless Cuddesdon after all.

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