A First for Wirral & Cheshire?

Whilst in college this morning news came through on the Wirral Birders WhatsApp group, that Snow Goose had been spotted by Barry Barnacle amongest a flock of Pink-footed Geese on the salt marsh off of the Harp Inn, Neston.

Snwoy Goose mkii_edited-1
‘Greater’ Snow Goose (C.c. atlanticus) – Always a distant, remaining at least 1/2 mile off the Harp Inn (Neston), Cheshire.

Over the years Wirral & Cheshire has witnessed a number of candidates for a wild individual; as noted in “Rare and Scarce Birds of Cheshire & Wirral” (A. Conlin & E. Williams, 2017), the species isn’t on the County List. The latest ‘plastic fantastic’ coming from Elton Hall Flash, Sandbach which involved a ‘Lesser’ Snow Goose aka the blue morph.

Snwoy Goose_edited-1
‘Greater’ Snow Goose (C.c. atlanticus)

What sets this bird apart is the fact unlike past candidates it’s within a flock of Pink-footed Geese, which are known as a ‘Carrier Species’ (Ross Ahmed, 2017), meaning that vagrants are often found within them. An example being King Eider in a flock of Common Eider, Surf Scoter amongest Common Scoter or American Golden Plover with Euroepan Golden Plover. Even though it’s early days in the birds stay, it’s looking good for acceptance with identification nailed as a ‘Greater’ Snow Goose and so far it’s behaving its self.

However, there are a number of factors which point towards an escapee….but given how I’ve got little time to write this post I’ll let you guess what they are.

Great Egret snowy twitch_edited-1
Great Egret (Ardea alba)

After seeing the bird off the Harp Inn, along with a Canada X Barnacle. I dropped in at ‘BMW’ and once again heard the Wood Warbler calling behind the car park. Elsewhere minimum of 8 Cetti’s Warbler were calling with a pair of Garganey from the Marsh Covert Hide. Whilst on the marsh walking back, a Great Egret was behind Decca Pool.

Garganey at BMW_edited-1
Garganey (Anas querquedula)

End result is that following a brief pop up to RSPB Conwy yesterday for the handsome drake Ring-necked Duck (no pics sorry forgot to charge camera after the grouse), and the trip to World’s End with Harry; the year list currently stands at 193.

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