Saturday, 26 April 2014

Ridgway's Canada Goose? and a few migrants

'Cackling Goose'- possibly B. h. minima. Presumably the same bird that has been seen in the region recently and also presumably an escape. It was present on the farmlands yesterday. Dominic Mitchell commented on Birding London re: the subject of English names (which are currently being proposed and discussed) for the different forms of Canada Goose as follows: 

"The widely used English names for the four extant subspecies of Cackling Goose B hutchinsii (= Lesser Canada Goose) are as follows: Aleutian (Canada) Goose (B h leucopareia), Cackling Canada (or Ridgway’s Canada) Goose (B h minima), Richardson’s (or Hutchins’s) Goose (B h hutchinsii), Taverner’s (or Alaska) Goose (B h taverneri). A fifth taxon, asiatica Bering Canada Goose, is now extinct." NB These are historic names and not all are in use post-split (hence frequent references to Canada in Cackling names!), but it's worth getting to know them for when e.g. checking pre-split records of vagrants etc. Still confused? Want more on ID? Fear not - David Sibley is preparing a major ID paper for Birdwatch magazine on the forms of this species and Canada Goose likely to be a problem in Europe - the only snag is it won't be published until later in the year 

The first Swift of the year
Wheatear- one of nine present today. Also Red Kite, Whimbrel, 6 Reed Warbler, 10 Whitethroat, 15 Blackcap, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2 LRP, 1 Hobby today and yesterday 2 Dunlin, Commic Tern and Oystercatcher. Weather looking good again for tomorrow so fingers crossed. 

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