Brent goose at NWT Cley by Nick Goodrum 1/10
Brent goose with gull on the beach at Titchwell by Elizabeth Dack 2/10
Brent geese at Morston Quay by Julian Thomas 3/10
Brent goose at NWT Cley by Elizabeth Dack 4/10
Brent goose by Elizabeth Dack 5/10
Brent goose at NWT Cley by Nick Appleton 6/10
Brent geese at NWT Cley by Elizabeth Dack 7/10
Brent geese at NWT Cley by Derick Stolworthy 8/10
Brent geese at Morston Quay by Paul Taylor 9/10
Brent geese at Titchwell by Elizabeth Dack 10/10

Brent Goose Branta bernicla

The dark-bellied subspecies of the brent goose is one of the characteristic birds of Norfolk’s coastal saltmarshes in winter. Tens of thousands of these confiding, conversational birds visit the county every year, fleeing the harsh winter in their arctic Russian breeding grounds.

Conservation status

The brent goose is amber-listed in the UK on account of its localised wintering population and the fact that a significant non-breeding population occurs here. Norfolk is one of the best places in the country for seeing large numbers of the dark-bellied subspecies of the brent goose.

Details

Did you know? The brent geese in Norfolk are of the dark-bellied subspecies which breeds in Russia. However, in most winters a few light-bellied brents, which breed in Svalbard, and black brents, which breed in Alaska, may also be seen here.

Young brent geese may be distinguished by the white bars on their backs. In years when the arctic tundra has a good population of lemmings, arctic foxes do not need to hunt geese, so brents breed well in the Russian tundra. As a result, plenty of bar-backed youngsters turn up in Norfolk’s winter flocks.
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