Red-breasted Geese have become my bogey birds in recent years, after a couple of painful dips in the north west I'd been following the reports of a pair at Holliwell Point, Essex. Whenever they appear on the news you have to dismiss them as escapees however these birds looked to be excellent contenders and had been pushed to the Esses coast with a large flock of Brent Geese. The Red-breasted Geese breed in Siberia but migrate to eastern europe.
After getting thumbs up regarding their origin I decided I'd try and go on Sunday when traffic would be at its quiestest and I was also concerned about the weather changing. The drive down was very smooth and after parking up I'd just have to navigate the last 45 minutes on foot via footpaths. Not ideal but it was a georgeous day for such a walk. I picked up a Merlin, Kestrel & Skylarks as the sea wall appeared in the distance. High tide would be in another two hours but I could see the geese flying around in the distance.
Once I reached the sea wall I could see huge rafts of Brent Geese on the sea but non yet in the fields. With no other birders present for clues, I started north and edged down a bit at a time. There were huge number of geese to work through and I knew this was going to be tricky as the geese could easily be hidden by the Brents.
As I returned to my orginal stating point for a second sweep I picked up a small flock feeding in a field and with every minute more birds were flying in to join them. This was my best chance so I just sat my scope up and went through flock with a fine tooth comb. Then I picked up the first of the Red-breasted Geese and then the other.....I was very pleased and so were the couple of walkers I met who were hoping to see the birds but only had poor optics. The ATX 85 gave us all amazing views of the birds.
As the walkers carried on their coastal walk, I stayed on the sea wall enjoying the sight and sound of the hugh flock of winter geese. Eventually some fishermen banged their van door which flushed the birds back onto the sea. I took this as my queue to head back. My sandwiches prepared by Mrs D did taste very good on the drive home. I've only twitched Essex once previously for a Wilson's Phalarope, so Essex remains in my 100% successful counties. This will be (in all probability) my last lifer of 2021, what a year it has been for rare birds.