Monday, 3 March 2014

Brent Goose

It was snowing again today although temperatures are just above zero. I expect that the early migrants will find somewhere to eak out an existence although I doubt there will be a big new arrival this ciming week.
I made a quick trip to Merkja to see the Brent Goose (ringgås) that has been seen there. It was found on Saturday by people searching for the Bewick’s Swan which I found there on Thursday (and which disappeared mid Friday morning). The number of Whooper Swans is increasing here day by day with 160 today but the disappearance of the Bewick’s suggests that birds are leaving at the same time as others are arriving so the total number of birds that have been through the site is likely higher.

Brent Goose is a species I have only seen once(!) before in Norway although was a common bird of my winter birding trips to the eastuaries of Southern England. The bird in question had been reported as a light-bellied bird (ssp hrota) although the distant pictures I had seen of a swimming bird didn’t fit with how I would expect this ssp to look like. I couldn’t get up there at the weekend but thankfully it was still present this morning. Seeing it in the flesh confirmed by belief it was a dark bellied (ssp bernicla) and the bird raised itself in the water as it preened and then walked about a bit on land to allow me to see all necessary features including the (dark) belly.

(Dark-bellied) Brent Goose (ringgås)

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