Species Spotlight: Brent Geese

After a break for the wedding (which went exceedingly well) I have several posts I’d like to write.  For today though, I’d like to share a species I saw for the first time on my honeymoon down to The New Forest.  On one of our days we went across to Hurst Castle and enjoyed walking to it from the village of Keyhaven along the shingle spit.  On our walk we were delighted to spot of flock of Brent Geese so I got some photos and wanted to share some information I’ve learnt about them from various sources including my RSPB Bird Book and the UK Bird android app.

Common Name: Brent Goose

Scientific Name: Branta bernicla

Approximate Size: The smallest goose, around 60cm in size

There are actually several subspecies of Brent Geese, two of which visit England.  They are winter migrants and are nearly always coastal visitors and are rarely seen inland.  The subspecies that we saw was the dark-bellied Branta goose (Branta bernicla bernicla).  They breed over in artic Siberia and winter in western Europe, particularly souther England.

The geese like mudflats and coastal grasslands and will often sit on the sea.  My book says they fly in dense, disorderly flocks although we didn’t see this for ourselves.  It was so wonderful to see them and tick another bird off from my list of UK species!


This entry was published on November 11, 2016 at 11:00 am. It’s filed under Species Spotlight and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “Species Spotlight: Brent Geese

  1. Joy Dingley on said:

    Love them, my favourite goose. When there are a lot of them calling together in a flock it sounds like the patter of rain on a roof top – not at all like the noisy honk of the bigger geese.


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