Posts Tagged ‘Black Brant

29
Jan
20

Just not Black and White?

There’s a goose at Holkham among the Brents. Some say it’s flanks aren’t chalky enough for Black Brant. It must be a hybrid. Some say the chinstrap doesn’t meet in the middle Others say the mantle isn’t black enough. I’ve even heard it said the black belly is not extensive enough. Looks good to me. Well within the range of variations I’ve seen in Canada.

12
Feb
16

Branta

Another Black Brant hybrid at Holkham the other day – flanks not white or extensive enough for me. Neck ring and mantle look good though.

Black Brant (hybrid) 1 Black Brant (hybrid)

20
Dec
15

Branta

The fullness of the neck ring on this Branta Goose photographed in the eye Field at Cley last week looks good for Black Brant. The white flank patch also looks pretty good as did the extent of the black belly through the legs. The mantle however looks a little too pale; perhaps indicating this bird is a hybrid. … maybe?

Black Brant

 

27
Dec
14

Where do you wander?

Among the Brents on the Norfolk north coast again this year is a dark moody mantled bird with pale flanks and a dark belly extending well back between the legs. Coupled with the wide full neck ring it means we have a Black Brant. Because this bird is with Dark bellied Brents which come from Siberia the Brant probably came from the eastern Siberia breeding population rather than the Canadian population.

Black Brant

15
Nov
13

Waiting

For the second time in a month I found myself staring along the coastline … waiting. Reminiscent of Glossy Ibis.

Initially we searched for a Humpback Whale to rise above the surf but when it didn’t show our interest in that waned a little when we heard of a Black Brant heading our way. It had been seen flying north within a flock of Brent Geese passing Hopton some 17 miles to the south. A back of an envelope calculation and we surmised it would be passing us in about 30 minutes.

We waited.

An approaching flock of Brents got our shutters firing but alas they were far too early.

We waited.

The first real cold winds of early winter started to nip at our fingers but we persevered. Eventually a flock of Brents appeared around the curve of the coast. Immediately apparent was the broader neck band, paler flanks and darker back of the Brant among them.

After it had passed us we celebrated with a hot drink … now that was worth waiting for!

Black Brant

The Brent is the second bird in the flock.

05
Jan
13

All is not always as it seems

Regularly each winter we get a Black Brant among the Brent Geese here in North Norfolk. Black Brants are a dark and moody Canadian race of the Brent Goose. They are a quite smart in comparison to the plentiful Brents.

When we heard of two Brants among a small flock of geese at Holkham on Wednesday it seemed too good to be true. It didn’t take us long to spot the contenders. Large white flank patches, broad neck collars meeting under the throat and a black belly extending far back towards the vent. The mantle however on both birds was far too pale; it should have been much darker. Both birds were hybrids; always a possibility with these beautiful geese. Still great to see.

Black Brant x Brent Goose Hybrid




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