Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Brent Goose (Branta bernicla)

Part of a flock of Brent Geese (subspecies B. b. bernicula - "Dark-bellied Brent Goose") at Reculver, Kent -  February 2011

OTHER NAMES: Brant Goose
Featured Subspecies: Branta bernicla bernicla (the "Dark-bellied Brent Goose")
Weight: 600-2200g
Length: 55-66cm
Wingspan: 106-121cm
UK AMBER LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Brent Goose is probably a species most easily seen on the coast in the Winter - it forms large flocks which makes it easy to see and find, but conversely, it is probably quite thinly distributed in where these flocks turn up. Individuals or small groups may also sometimes appear, as in the case of the single Brent Goose which formed my first ever Brent Goose sighting - unfortunatly it was plonked on the far bank of the Thames beyond my photography range. The birds in the photograph however, were part of a very large flock near Reculver in Kent - and generally the North Kent Coast is going to be a reliable site for them, probably any site between Oare Marshes and Ramsgate during the Winter should have them pass by sooner of later.

Related Species:
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae 
Genus: Branta 
Subspecies: B. b. bernicla, B. b. hrota, B. b. nigricans, B. b. orientalis

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - Locally commom Winter visitor; B. b. bernicula (91,000 birds) and B. b. hrota (31,400 birds). B. b. nigricans an annual vagrant. 
 - Dark-bellied subspecies a locally abundant Winter visitor in North Kent; Herne Bay, Reculver and Oare Marshes being good sites. 

Further Information: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuidesBirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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