Barnacle Goose

News Headlines ...

Post date Tweet Author Tweet Contents Event Date
Thursday, 17 August, 2017 - 19:29 AndrewCooperBC RT @savebutterflies: Got the #butterflycount bug? We have a FREE app where you can record all the butterflies you see - all year round! htt…
Thursday, 17 August, 2017 - 11:29 ianballam RT @SoundApproachUK: We launch a new product @TheBirdfair tomorrow. This sample is part of a longer interview here https://t.co/UVx5TnbuKm…
Wednesday, 16 August, 2017 - 17:45 PortlandBirdObs RT @infocusGlos: Optics Day @PortlandBirdObs @DWTWeyPort Tues 22 Aug @opticronuk @SwarovskiOptik Vanguard @hawkenature 01453890978 @ZEISSBi… Tue, 22/08/2017

An occasional winter visitor to Dorset recognisable by its white face.


 

The barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis) is much rarer in Dorset than its cousins, Canada and Brent Geese. Indeed, many records are probably feral birds that have escaped from collections. However, extreme colder weather in the north of Britain can drive birds futher south and very occasionally as far as Dorset.

This was the case back in the cold winter of 2011 which seems to have driven a small family party of six birds south to Dorset. The group was in the company of Canada geese and Brent geese but preferred to keep their distance and as five of them grazed peacefully this one stood guard and saw off any of the other two species that dared wander their way!

An Arctic breeding species, barnacle geese usually spend the winter on the Solway Firth in southern Scotland, on some of the outer Hebridean Islands and on the east coat of Ireland. Early Irish people could not work out how these birds could disappear in the summer and reappear in the autumn and they formed an association with sea barnacles and thought that the geese hatched out from the barnacles that grew on the rocks, hence the name barnacle goose!

The key identification feature of the barnacle goose is its white face. It is a little smaller than a Canada goose but larger than a Brent.


 

Common Name Barnacle Goose
Scientific Name Branta leucopsis
Interest Level
5/5
Related Species - CLICK TO VIEW Geese
Look for

The Nature of Dorset on Facebook

The Nature of Dorset on Twitter

Print or Email this page:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Nature of Dorset on Blogger

Add this page to your social network:

Share