Hrota sure, Bernicla maybe? Both possibly.

15 Jan

Took a trip to Lindisfarne today to enjoy the still and crisp weather.

The yearlist is still in its infancy and so there was the likelihood of adding a few species to it and so it turned out.

Off the causeway curlew, redshank and eider were scattered around with the odd black-headed gull, and shag and cormorant were feeding in the channel off St Cuthbert’s island but no sign of the slavonian grebes that had been reported.

Four brents flew by southwards towards Budle Bay as we watched a heron hunting in the shallows off the harbour wall.

Walking round the harbour and beach towards the castle we had bar-tailed godwit and curlew joining the herring gulls in the mud and three fulmar were sat on the crags and gutters of the castle and its rock.

Following the path round heading up towards the pyramid, the rest of the brent flock emerged heading to the coast and settled on the rocks half a mile north of us. As we approached it seemed that there were a numer of darker individuals than the normal “hrota” subspecies. As part of my education today I learned that juvenile pale bellies have darker undersides than the adults, but with pale fringing to the wing coverts, and there were certainly some juveniles amongst them, but some that didn’t show this feature.

Hard to say if it was a trick of the light as the strong light cast stark shadows and particulary in flight these thrown across the body may have been misleading.

Bottom line – not sure!


One Response to “Hrota sure, Bernicla maybe? Both possibly.”

  1. Stewart Sexton January 16, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    Definitely both Dark and Light bellies in that flock.

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