Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Brent Goose.

 
If you head to an estuary on the south coast during the winter months you are likely to come across a visitor from the arctic north enjoying up to at least five months (from late Sept to late April) of our milder winter climate. 

Large numbers of the dark-bellied form of Brent Goose (Branta bernicla ssp. bernicla) find their way from Russia and Western Siberia to the 125 hectares of grazing marshes on the northern shores of Langstone Harbour to feed on their main food source of eel-grass. 

Unlike the larger and noisier resident Canada Geese they feed together in much larger flocks, quietly chatting away to each other until disturbed when their gargling, guttural call instantly increases in volume .... then its a quick lift off ...... a circuit or two in the air before landing again to continue their daily feeding activities.

During a visit to Farlington Marshes at the beginning of March I spent a while watching this particular group, always with a few individuals acting as lookouts while their companions are feeding, before considering whether I should attempt to get closer for some decent images.

As there was no natural cover and I don't own any specialised camouflage clothing I did consider crawling through the short grass but instead adopted the very slow walking approach. Every now and again some of the nearest individuals would move a few feet further away but after a while they soon became more tolerant of my presence.

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As with all wildlife it is important to understand the boundaries and not push your luck by getting too close so I just settled down and shot a few frames of those that where within reasonable range.

Some are just happy to sit and enjoy the late winter sunshine while their partners have a stretch.


This dapper looking goose has me charmed every time I see it. What could be better than spending some quality time with this delightful species.

Many of them will now be making their way northwards again so I'll probably have to wait until next winter to get reacquainted with them.   FAB.

For more images from around the globe .......check out WORLD BIRD WEDNESDAY.

38 comments:

  1. Super images Frank, the flight one is brilliant.

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  2. Hi Frank
    Great set of images of a lovely Goose, the flight shot and he head shot are crackers.

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  3. Great photos!I never seen this geese before, they are so beautiful!

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  4. they really are sweet. love their dark heads and tiny bills.

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  5. Lovely shots,love the last image.
    Superb capture,not seen this year.
    John.

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  6. Brilliant photos Frabk, and the last one, head shot is magic.

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  7. Great goose shots!
    Well done!

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  8. Lovely photos of the Brent Goose Frank

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  9. Wonderful post Frank. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  10. Wonderful images of a goose I have not seen before. Thanks for showing it. I like the stretch photo and close-up head shot.

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  11. Great series on the Brent or here we call them Brant. Fantastic photos.

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  12. Very interesting to see all those migratory birds together. I like your description of getting closer to the birds without getting too close! It works for migratory shorebirds down here too.

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  13. Loved hearing about these beautiful geese Frank. Great photos too. Thanks for sharing these. Carol

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  14. It really is interesting to watch those large flocks of geese -- I've never seen brents, but with snow geese we've noticed how they have the watchers or guards along the perimeters. (I'm glad you were able to get close enough without belly-crawling...that doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun.) Wonderful pictures of a beautiful bird.

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  15. Frank, Great set of images.Have never seen this one before:)

    Shantana

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  16. Love the dark plumage! I've never seen them in person.

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  17. Hi there - what a great set of pictures.

    Geese in winter were always such a treat to go and see.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  18. Beautiful images of these gorgeous birds Frank!

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  19. I'd never heard of the Brent Goose before; how lovely to see and wonderful, so many in flight. The finale photo is delightful; as if with a little lacy collar on

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  20. Terrific photos. These geese are lovely!

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  21. Great set Frank.
    One of my favourite geese. They always look immaculately turned out.

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  22. The first time I ever saw a photograph of one of these handsome geese was on our wonderful blog. These photographs are brilliant, Frank! I especially love the last capture.

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  23. Lovely photos Frank. It's a very handsome goose.

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  24. I love your blog. Such great photos!

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  25. That last portrait is fantastci Frank, and I can see that like us, when you see them it is in good numbers. I've seen only two so far but they will soon be over here too!

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  26. Superb sequence Frank. We have a decent sized flock of Brent Geese here on the Burry but they very rarely let us get such good views as these. Nice one.

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  27. Beautiful Brents! Still eluding me sadly, though we do get them here in eastern Ontario -along with 10's of 1000's of Canadas! Love the last shot especially! Happy Migration!

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  28. awesome pictures!! your blog colors are identical to mine!!

    lovely detail!!

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  29. Lovely shots of the Brents Frank. Of course up here they are much more scarce than the south - shame for me as I would like to take shots like yours.

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  30. My fav species of goose, I think they actually look really pretty. Pity I get to see them once in a blue moon.... thanks for reminding me to get out there looking for some

    Nice post Frank.
    Dave

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  31. Brent Goose, a smart looking goose. I'm glad you kept your distance observing good bird protocol, tempting as it may be. Your finale photo is a gem Frank.

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  32. wow, it is a real beauty. I have only seen two of them once and from quite a distance. I did not realise then it was so beautiful.

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  33. Wow...here , in Portugal, we do not see such beautiful birds...so I do Thank you for sharing!
    BShell/ Isabel

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  34. Brilliant final close up photo.

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  35. Hi Everyone. Many thanks for all your wonderful comments ... just hope I can do this species justice when they return at the end of the year.

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