Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Geese Galore.

One of my favourite south coast locations during the winter is Farlington Marshes to enjoy the spectacle of the thousands of geese that migrate here from the high arctic.

The main focus of a brief mid-week visit was on the dark-bellied form of  Brent Geese (Branta bernicla ssp. bernicla) that take up residence on the 125 hectares of grazing marsh. Throughout the day, depending on the tide conditions, they constantly commute in varying flock numbers between the harbour and the grazing marshes feeding on eel grass their preferred food.



They constantly chat to one another ... a low pitched gargling guttural sound.
  

For a decent close (see below) up I searched through my archives. (Taken at the same site in 2012)





On Sunday I made another visit with the Surrey Bird Club (SBC), initially under a cloudy sky that eventually brightened up, which allowed good views of the Brent Geese plus 53 other species including a flock of 28 Barnacle Geese (Branta leucopsis) another arctic breeding species.

Barnacle Geese flying over with a single, slightly smaller, Brent Goose (bottom right) in the lead.


Unfortunately these geese were only feeding in the centre of the grazing marsh so for a close up (below) I hunted through my recent archives (taken at the London Wetland Centre)FAB.


23 comments:

  1. they're both so cute with their tiny bills! :)

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  2. These geese have interesting faces. I guess it's their short bills that nake them look so different from Canada geese.

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  3. Geese and ducks are always talking to one another, but especially geese and I enjoy watching them. The flying photos are really amazing. I was not familiar with this species of goose...

    Regarding the comment you left on my blog. Yes, wildlife is adaptable. But last winter we had a very severe winter where areas along the lake and river that never freeze did freeze. The overwintering waterfowl that usually are able to find food were not able to. To the horror of our state DEC and others who removed the bodies.. Over 250,000 waterfowl especially diving ducks starved to death. There were efforts mounted to rescue as many as possible of the mergansers and grebes etc, but most died. It was hoped that this winter would not be as severe and this is worse..so that is in my mind now... Michelle

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  4. Super shots, and love the close up shot showing the choker.

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  5. I love listening to the 30.000 PB Brent that we have here in the winter. These are fantastic images Frank.

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  6. Nice shots, beautiful creatures. All the wetlands in Florida, and I can't recall ever seeing any kind of goose here. They all must take the central route down the Mississippi watershed, across TX, and into Mexico from there

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  7. Wonderful shots of the Geese.. I think the Brant is much more attractive than the Canada Goose.. I have never seen the Barnacle, it is a pretty goose too. Happy Birding!

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  8. The only interesting geese we see around Newark are high flying echelons of pink foots

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  9. So graceful in flight.. I love the close up portrait!

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  10. Really nice photos, FAB! I like seeing the different kinds of Geese you get to see.

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  11. Thank you for the information! These are geese I'd love to hear and see in action one of these days. I've only read about them in books and have seen them on TV. I love the nature of geese. When they all settle down in one area, it's a blast seeing them all chatter. Wonderful pics!

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  12. Fantastic to see so many birds that have come down from the arctic. Your photos are all great but I especially like the in-flight ones.

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  13. I love seeing geese and their formations in the sky. You have done a wonderful job capturing that moment!
    Perfect title for your post - how lovely to see so many.

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  14. Hi Frank
    to observe so many geese always makes fun, the problem is usually the decision what you want to photograph ..:-))
    regards Frank

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  15. Wonderful shots of the beautiful geese.

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  16. I love to see geese flying!

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  17. Lovely captures of the pretty geese.

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  18. The flight images of the geese are very nice, but eht portrait in photo 5 is really fantastic!
    Greetings, Helma

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  19. Wonderful photos! What delightful sightings!

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