I saw a Ross's Goose on the patch today. Can I add it to my Druridge patch list?
The goose in question was first picked up lifting off from near East Chevington by Alan Gilbertson and myself as a white goose amongst about 1000 pinkfeets. From a long-way off, it looked like quite big and we guessed it was a snow goose. A better view was required, the geese had landed one field north of the patch boundary, how frustrating.
Alan left and Janet arrived, we went for a better look. Closer inspection proved it to be an adult Ross's goose, but it was still outside the patch.
We spent the rest of the afternoon chainsawing, reducing the height of some alders and ash trees around our net-rides and doing some much-needed coppicing. As we worked, the geese flock got up a again and circled over the northern edge of the patch. The 'white one' was easily picked out.
Now the conundrum. Ross's goose still isn't on the official British list, residing in category D. Identification isn't in question, it's the origin of these birds that hasn't been confirmed. There have been a few Ross's in the UK over the past decade that look for genuine vagrants (timing and arrival with possible carrier species). Alongside this, the world population of Ross's has massively increased from an estimated 3000 individuals in the 1930's to 188,000 in the 1980's making genuine vagrancy more likely.
So what do I do?
Add Ross's Goose to the Druridge List? (I see from BUBO Listing that some Northumbrian birders have added the 2004 Hauxley Ross's goose to their county lists)
Create a 'pending' category and add it as an 'armchair' tick when the BOURC add it to the British list?
Forget all about it
Time to ponder. Despite spending the whole afternoon chainsawing, as well as Ross's Geese I managed to add oystercatcher and whooper swan to the year-list and watch two fantastic short-eared owls in the dunes.
80 whooper swan
81 Ross's goose??? (Pending)