Category Archives: b) Geese

Christmas fudge goose

By Yoav Perlman

Geese are fun, aren’t they? The perfect head-scratching activity for dark and cold winter days. In Norfolk, views are typically rubbish, which makes it even more fun. Hybrid geese have been discussed on Birding Frontiers before.

When geese turn up in funny places, things get really interesting. This intriguing goose was found at the spectacular KKL Agamon Hula in Israel on Christmas day by Hamudi Musa Heib, and was later photographed by Dror Galili. Dror kindly allowed me to use his images here. Shai Agmon sent me some more images and shared his field impressions with me. It was an overcast day (even in Israel…) so Dror’s images are rather dark and blue.

Goose sp., Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp., Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

First impression is Lesser White-fronted Goose (LWFG), isn’t it? The bold eyering shouts loud. But then a closer look does show some pointers to other or mixed identities. In images it looks quite a brute, compared to Wigeon. However, people who saw it in the field said that the field impression wasn’t that massive. The neck is thick but rather long. The bill is long and powerful, different from the cute mini-beak of LWFG, to my eyes closer to Eurasian White-fronted Goose (EWFG).

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeons, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeons, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

First, ageing this bird is important – this appears to be a 1cy (1st-winter; it will turn 2cy in five days). Check moult contrast in scapulars and flanks. It is probably moulting out of juvenile plumage.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeon, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeon, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Some context: 

This is a special goose year in Israel. All geese are rare in Israel. The only regularly occurring species in Israel is Eurasian White-fronted, with single birds seen almost every winter. Agamon Hula is a hotspot for them. This winter Israel is experiencing a goose influx, with several flocks of White-fronts around the country, several flocks of the rare Greylag, and even records of mega rarities – Taiga Bean Goose (5th record) and Lesser White-fronted (7th record). Check this article in Hebrew (sorry), Google Translate will make you chuckle I’m sure. So it is likely that this bird is of wild origin.

In Israel this bird was first broadcast as Lesser White-fronted Goose. Then talk started about hybrid options.  With Eurasian white-fronted Goose? Red-breasted Goose? Egyptian Goose? Ruddy Shelduck? Perhaps wildfowl collections can create unlikely love stories? I don’t know if that’s even possible. So many question marks in one post… So to make some sense I contacted Dave Appleton from the excellent Bird Hybrids. Dave sent me this most detailed reply:

“Firstly I think the reddish colour on the flank feathers is a red herring… I think it is dirt and not a real plumage feature.  I don’t think any hybrid combination would give rise to such a plumage mark and also I don’t think the pattern of it really fits any normal feather patterns – it seems to cross feathers in a weird way, not like a normal plumage feature.  For example in IMG1897 (the top image in this post – YP) the rearmost blotch of reddish brown along the rear flanks seems to cover the outer half of the tip of one feather and the outer ¾ of the base of the feather behind it – like a random spot of dirt rather than a normal plumage pattern.

The other issues would all be explained, I think, if there was (Greater/Eurasian) White-fronted Goose influence – a first-winter would show a dark nail to the bill and have a longer bill than Lesser White-front, it would be large and heavy and I think the head shape and colour are ok too.  So then my question becomes, is it a hybrid between White-fronted Goose and Lesser White-fronted Goose, or could it be just a pure White-fronted Goose?  The features you mention as making it superficially like Lesser White-fronted Goose are the eye-ring and the long primaries.  To me the feathers at the wing-tip look dishevelled – the tertials aren’t lying flat and the primaries seem to be pointing at a slightly odd angle.  I am not sure if it is damaged or has loose feathers, but whatever the cause I am not sure it is safe to judge the relative length of the primaries in this state. 

That leaves only the yellow eye-ring (or more correctly, orbital ring) to potentially indicate Lesser White-fronted Goose origin.  Of course White-fronted Goose can have a slightly yellowish orbital ring, it’s just that its usually so dull and inconspicuous that you don’t notice it.  It does vary though – e.g. the Reeber Wildfowl book says (under the description of adult Greater White-fronted Goose), “Brown iris with a usually inconspicuous orbital ring, which is sometimes yellow (most frequently in breeding males).”  I can’t find them now but I’m sure I’ve seen photos of apparently pure White-fronted Geese with yellow orbital rings that would make a Lesser White-front proud.  Of course your bird appears to be a first-winter, so that may be more unusual in a bird of that age, but I am not sure it is enough on its own to exclude a pure White-fronted Goose.  On the other hand they say that most captive Lesser White-fronts are not pure, having some White-front ancestry (which in my experience rings true – they often seem to have less white on the forehead than wild birds) and I guess the opposite might be true of captive White-fronts.  So if captive origin is likely then perhaps mixed ancestry might be the best way of explaining the yellow eye-ring, but if wild origin is more likely (and if recent events in England are anything to go by it must be a good winter to see White-fronts a bit outside their usual range) then I would tentatively suggest a pure first-winter White-fronted Goose would be the most likely identification.”

Many thanks to Dave for this interesting and eye-opening analysis.

I have some points to discuss though – open to debate:

  1. I think the red colouration on the flanks is genuine feather pattern, rather than red dirt. It seems to be symmetrical on both sides (check two top images).
  2. I agree that wingtip structure is not fully clear in relation to tertials, but the primaries do certainly project beyond tail. It is hard to judge exactly how much, but this is more than I would expect from a EWFG.
  3. I am not sure that the dark bill nail is not a result of the goose digging in the dark peat soil of the Hula Valley.

Would be interesting to hear more opinions on this bird!

Goose sp., Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp., Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeon, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeon, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeons, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeons, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp., Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp., Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeons, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

Goose sp. with Eurasian Wigeons, Agamon Hula, Israel, 25/12/16. Photo by Dror Galili.

I apologize for a certain back-log I have here on BF. I promise to address the grey chat (stejnegeri?) issue soon. I also have some interesting terns in the oven, and should also write about a certain house martin that I hope to see on Thursday when I arrive in Israel for a short visit…

So stay tuned for some more exciting stuff here on Birding Frontiers in 2017. I wish all of our followers and supporters a lovely and exciting 2017!

 

Cackling Canada Goose in Devon

 Love it- a Wild ‘Ridgway’s’ Canada Goose in Britain!

I love this stuff. Really! Matt Knott emailed a while back to say he found this bird on 27th September 2015 on his local patch on the Exe Estuary in Devon. I am just slow! The bird arrived with and was clearly part of the large flock of several hundred Dark-bellied Brent Geese. The Brent come from Central Siberia. 

If you interested in seeing wild vagrant geese- you should go see this one!

So the big question. Is this a wild bird, from Alaska. To me this is  ‘no-brainer’. The case for this being a wild bird is much easier for me to make, than it be an escaped captive reared bird.

I could wax lyrical. I would have drawn a map just like Matt’s. It’s a highly likely scenario.

I think at least 1-2 birds which appeared at Caerlaverock WWT in 2009, with Barnacle Geese also fit a wild Cackling Goose bill. So enjoy the pics and the map and believe in birds! 🙂

Check out Dave Boult’s lovely video of the bird. Click HERE

 

Huge thanks to Chris Townend for the beautiful photos below.

unnamed 6 unnamed 8 unnamed 9All photos above by Chris Townend– with thanks.
unnamed 12

 

BELOW: Tristan Reid’s beautiful photo of one of the ‘wild’ Cackling Canada’s at Caerlaverock back in 2009.

cackling-goose-caerlaverock-10

 

Helpfully as ever Richard Klim highlighter the correct spelling of Ridgway. More HERE

Dusky Warbler and curious Goldcrest

Monday 5th October

I went a little slower and enjoyed Virkie’s shoreline. Yoav joined Pierre A-C to explore Walsay and I expect ended up talking forever about Siberian Thrushes! The ‘south ness’ had an increase in Barnacle Geese over and landing in good numbers as well as the more usual Pink-feet. Wild Geese. There is a magic about them.

Barnacle geese 5th oct 2015 (1 of 1)

Barnacle geese 2 5th oct 2015 (1 of 1)

Paul and Roger, together with Peter Colston and Tony Quinn went to Sumburgh and scored a Dusky Warbler at Grutness. RR aced a lovely photo showcasing superbly key Dusky Warbler features:

Dusky

Dusky Warbler, Grutness, Shetland 5th October 2015. Roger Riddington.

Goldcrests from further EAST

Rather predictably Goldcrests and  Robins became a little more evident today (often goes with Dusky Warbler finds). I was nevertheless taken aback when near octogenarian Peter Colston (Mr Tring Museum for a VERY long time) began ruminating on ‘eastern Goldcrest’. WHAT!

We were birding together at Geosetter and watching and photographing several Goldcrest (plus Yellow-broweds and a curious ‘grey’ 1cy Pied Flycatcher).

coatsi Goldrest!

He was drawn to this Goldcrest by the ‘extra grey’ extending from the nape onto the mantle. Maybe it’s no big deal. Maybe it’s even the ‘angle of the dangle’. Can you see how there is more extensive grey, contrasting with olive green- but in the mid-mantle region rather than at the base of the nape. Often specifically British Goldcrest show almost no real contrast between grey- olive head and olive mantle. Nominate/ continental birds range from obvious contrasting grey heads to some more like British birds. See Yoav’s blog from yesterday for examples)

I have long been interested in greyer heads/ identifiable ‘Continental Goldcrest’ (see me illustrations in last month’s Birdwatch magazine). I never knew about birds from further east… other taxa…but then this is Peter Colston I got to go birding with! I checked out Goldcrests from further east and discovered a taxon- ‘coatsi’ Goldcrest. The range is east of nominate regulus. This is how they are described on the Birds of Kazakhstan website:

“Mantle is lighter, grey on rear-neck more developed than in regulus.”  Birds of Kazakhstan

Now this is only a little exploration. We may never get ‘coatsi’/ birds from that range in W. Europe but its fun to explore and learn. And we were also watching a Yellow-browed W as Peter pointed out. So here’s the bird. It’s how I explore and learn 🙂

Goldcrest Peter C Geosetter 5tboct 2015 (1 of 1)

Olive-backed Pipit.

I finished my day with a stunning (rarely are they not) OBP at Scatness. Not easy to see. Not everyone getting on to it. I was indeed fortunate to be wowed by the head and underparts and it meander through rank grass.

 

Taiga White-fronted Goose in Britain

The Two Gambel’s Geese in Oxfordshire

We have had the opportunity over the last few weeks of exploring some of the White-fronted Goose complex.  Besides the Greenland and Russian birds at Flamborough, we revisited the Pacific ‘frontalis’with a bird in Israel. now to finish off, a little surprise f you had not heard of this one before…

The Taiga White-front or Gambel’s Goose

A surprising find at Otmoor RSPB reserve in Oxford by Phil Barnett back in May 2004 eventually identified to a best fit that these 2 first winter birds best fit as vagrants of the North American form gambelli – a ‘Taiga White-fronted Goose’. They look amazing don’t they?

They featured in  the ‘Frontiers in Birding’ (the White-fronted Goose chapter by Richard Millington). A more recent paper on the Taxonomy of White-fronted Geese is >>>HERE<<<

gambelli 3 (1 of 1)

Photos by Peter Barker:

gambeli 2 (1 of 1) gambeli 1 (1 of 1)

gambelli 4 (1 of 1)

gambelli 2 (1 of 1) gambeli 3 (1 of 1) gambeli 4 (1 of 1)

Here’s Phil Barnett’s wonderfully fulsome and detailed account from the Oxford Bird Report

The Two Gambel’s Geese in Oxfordshire

Filed Notes (from fuller account in Oxford Bird Report)

They were big birds..not far off Greylag Goose in size. Moreover, they appeared not dissimilar to Taiga Bean Goose in overall structure, with long necks, long, thick orange legs and particularly long bills. The bill colour could change with the lighting conditions, but neither bird showed a pure pink bill or an orange bill; on one bird it was dull pink with a pale grey-buff base, on the other a more obvious orange wash was present over much of the bill. As expected on first-winter birds, the nail was dark grey on both.

Typically for first-winter geese in spring, both birds had undergone a partial body moult which had included at least the head (both were showing a white frontal blaze), and probably the neck, mantle and upper flanks, but no black belly bars had yet appeared. A close look at the head and neck was intriguing. The white frontal blaze was tall (reaching to a blunt point above the front of the eye) and wide (especially across the forehead, above the bill), so that the blaze appeared quite angular. Both birds exhibited a fairly obvious yellow-buff eye-ring. The head and neck pattern looked distinctive. The Otmoor birds were both greyish brown on the face and fore-neck, but with a dark brown crown (the lower edge of which cut through the eye); this dark crown also extended back to the nape and continued down the rear of the neck. Also, the black band behind the white shield formed a very broad vertical line running from the lores down to the chin, where it broadened to a thick dark throat line.

The upperparts were drab sepia-brown, with reasonably obvious pale fringes to the scapulars, but the tertials were not pale-edged. The underparts were paler grey-brown, but the upper and rear flank feathers were much darker. In spring, many first-winter geese still retain their juvenile tail feathers, and the Otmoor birds were no exception. On both individuals the tail was extensively dark brown, with a fairly narrow white tip to all the feathers and with narrow pale fringes to the outermost pair.

Identification discussion

Plainly they are not European White-fronted Geese; they are far too large, rangy and long-billed, while the bill colour and tail pattern also eliminates that form. Greenland White-fronted Goose is a little larger and darker overall than European White-front, with a longer, orange bill and a largely dark tail, but that didn’t seem the right answer…

Martin Reid suggested they were Taiga White-fronted Geese, citing the long neck and long legs (“adaptations to living in taiga habitat that is taller grass, plus shrubs to look over for predators”) and that it looked identical to those which he had seen and photographed in Texas.

To contemplate identifying the Otmoor geese as Taiga White-fronted Geese first requires an understanding that there have been said to be two taiga-breeding races, elgasi and gambelli. The first breeds in Alaska and winters in California and the second breeds in NW Canada and winters in the Gulf states of the USA and Mexico. There appears to be no safe way to tell these two apart, but that may be for good reason; they may in fact be closely related, or at least share similar habitats. The commoner Nearctic form, American White-fronted Goose ‘frontalis’, also shares some features exhibited by Greenland White-fronted Goose, so that too needs to be considered. The choice for the Otmoor birds lies between the three: Greenland flavirostris, American frontalis or Taiga White-fronted Goose gambelli.

While Greenland Whitefront was considered… the extreme size, disproportionately long neck and bill, the bill colouration and the long, thick legs are an even better match for the other Nearctic forms. Greenland White-fronted Goose is not the only form of white-front to show an orange bill; it is frequent in all the Nearctic forms (eg Kauffman 1994, R. Millington pers obs), especially in young birds. While the head and neck colouration may provide strong evidence, the tail pattern could be important too. A first-winter Greenland White-fronted Goose in late May should show an all-dark tail, with merely a remnant pale tip. First-winter American and Taiga White-fronted Goose also show a largely dark tail, but not so extensively dark as that of Greenland White-front; of the two, Taiga has by far the darker (R. Millington & I. Lewington, pers comm). The remnant pale fringe shown by the Otmoor birds appears to match the Nearctic forms but, being rather prominent, perhaps most closely resembles that of Taiga White-fronted Goose. In general terms, American White-fronted Goose closely resembles European White-front, except it is bigger and browner, has a rather darker tail, and often shows a large, orange-toned bill. However, the disproportionately long neck of the larger of the two Otmoor birds, along with its very long bill and long, thick legs, suggest it something different again. All these features, like the tail pattern, appear to better fit for Taiga White-fronted Goose. The Otmoor birds showed a rather distinctive head pattern, which is detailed above, and appears to match that shown by Taiga White-fronted Goose (PB pers comm).

The feeding habits of the Otmoor geese were intriguing. They preferred to feed in overgrown, wet habitat, and were seen up-ending like swans in their quest for aquatic vegetation. While American White-fronted Geese are habitual grazers and Greenland birds frequently root in deeper vegetation, this manner of feeding is described as being entirely typical of Taiga White-fronted Goose…

Read recent Taxonomy PAPER 

Greenland and Russian White-fronted Geese

Inspired by Wild Geese!

Martin Garner and Brett Richards

A local double act. Our juices flowing a this rare opportunity to study- a few notes:

Two species, one Old World one new World. One OK, the other declining. Full of all the question about modern identification taxonomy, conservation and bird lore.

Two species, one Old World one new World. One OK, the other declining. Full of all the question about modern identification taxonomy, conservation and bird lore.

Adult Greenland White-front  a couple of weeks ago. Lots more HERE on flavirostris, albifrons and frontalis White-fronted Geese. (Vagrancy, Identification Taxonomy).

Brett then went a pulled a wonder with an adult Russian White-front which had found and joined the Greenland.  So much for all that ‘carrier’ goose stuff. It can be about right (giant monotypic flock, one vagrant) and utter unreadable (lone birds do whatever, move around, change flocks/species etc- seen it again and again).

Headlines on Greenland Whitefronts.

First Record. Apparently the first Flamborough record. In 50 years at Spurn:  1 in 1972 and 3 in 2013 (per Tim Jones). So scarce/ rare on English East Coast away from Northumberland. Nationally rarity  (?) across North Sea in Netherlands.

Better as a Full Species. Ecological studies in 2002 suggest the Greenland birds should probably be considered a separate species from A. albifrons. Unusually long period of parental care and association, which may last several years and can include grandparenting, possibly uniquely among the Anseriformes.

BWP Editor’s note. In BWP, the Greenland White-fronted Goose was treated as a subspecies of the White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons. Since that time, a great deal of ecological and behavioural work has been undertaken on this distinctive taxon, and it was felt that flavirostris merited an account of its own. In the light of the emerging data that highlight its distinctive nature, it seems increasingly likely that the Greenland form will be recognized as a species in its own right. Consequently, it has been decided that a separate account of the Greenland White-fronted Goose should be published at this time. Although there is ongoing research into the other forms of A. albifrons, it is unlikely that an Update of the full species will be available in the near future.

Key Differences between Greenland and Russian birds (scroll down and see photos!)

A few not great but OK shots in tricky conditions:

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 03.34.04

Oily and dark Greenland on right. Large than the Russian, similar sized to other North American forms with more marsh/tuber feeding habits and grass gazers of the Old World.

W fronts both
WF 1

Blurry flight but shows the more Pink-footed Goose-like grey caste of the Russian on the left with broader white tail tip ‘flaring’ into the dark. Smooth mocha Greenland on right with crisp tail pattern.

Greenland wf MG 15th feb

The Greenlander. A Conservation concern, seemingly outcompeted by Canada Geese (interior) and declining.

Some video. Close -ups near end. but windy!

 

Greenland (flavirostris) above and Russian (albifrons) below. Check out their bits.

Greenland (flavirostris) above and Russian (albifrons) below. Check out their bits.

Greenland (flavirostris) LEFT and Russian (albifrons) RIGHT .

Greenland (flavirostris) LEFT and Russian (albifrons) RIGHT .

Greenland in LEFT, Russian on RIGHT.

Greenland in LEFT, Russian on RIGHT.

Greenland (flavirostris) showing  ore extensive black on underparts (into) vent) than any other white-front taxon.

Greenland (flavirostris) showing ore extensive black on underparts (into) vent) than any other white-front taxon.

Russian from below to compare

Russian from below to compare

Compare and Contrast. Key Differences in Appearance e.g. see in photos above (from excellent wikipedia article with corrections…).

The Greenland white-fronted goose, in all plumages, looks darker and more ‘oily-looking’ than the European white-fronted goose, both at rest and in flight.:

1) The mantle and scapulars of flavirostris have narrow, indistinct pale fringes creating a uniform appearance to the birds’ upperparts, whereas albifrons has noticeable whitish fringes creating obviously barred upperparts

2) The tertials of flavirostris have indistinct pale fringes, whereas these pale fringes are more noticeable on albifrons3) The lesser- and median-upperwing-coverts of flavirostris have narrow, indistinct pale fringes, creating a rather uniform appearance to the wing, whereas on albifrons, these fringes are prominent and broad, creating wing-bars

4) The greater-coverts of flavirostris are dark grey, with a narrow white tip, forming a narrow wing-bar; on albifrons they are blue-grey, with prominent white tips, forming a bold wing-bar
5) The flank-line is narrows and white on flavirostris, but broad and bright white on albifrons
6) The tail of flavirostris is dark brown, with a very narrow white tip and sides; that of albifrons is dark grey, and the white tip and sides are at least double the width of the corresponding areas on flavirostris
7) The bill of flavirostris is orange-yellow (with a dark nail in juvs), compared with the bright pink bill of albifrons (dark on the nail in juvs); in addition the bill of flavirostris is longer and appears slimmer than that of albifrons
8) The belly-barring on adult birds is on average more extensive on flavirostris than on albifrons, but the individual variation in both forms renders this of limited use as an identification feature.

The bill of adult Greenland white-fronts are also orange-yellow at the base, but can be more pinkish-yellow on the outer-half, thus close in colour to European white-fronts; the colour difference is more easily determined in dull, flat light rather than bright sunshine

Greenland White-fronted Goose

Big Flamborourgh Record

Excuse a little indulgence as I convalesce 😉 . Was quite chuffed to check out the top window of our house last week over looking the north side of Flamborough (Yes I know we are very blessed with where we live!) to see this bird. At about a mile away I thought I was watching the back of the head of a Greylag Goose (one of about 100 present) which seemed to flash some white at the bill base- “not seen one like that for a while’. Then a few moment later it turned around to reveal a proper white blaze, dark head and body a longish smoother thinner looking orange bill and… big black ‘speckled’ belly barring- whoop! a Greenland White-front. They seem to be rare at Flamborough. Indeed at cursory look I haven’t traced a previous record for the Headland yet. Could be a first.

I saw it on several subsequent days but always distant. however since the weekend (and I’m away) it appears daily with a few geese at the watering hole in the village- views much closer. Hence my indulgence with the photos of others…

Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Water Lane, Flamborough, Feb 2015. Brett Richards

Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Water Lane, Flamborough, Feb 2015. Brett Richards

Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Water Lane, Flamborough, Feb 2015. Andy Hood.

Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Water Lane, Flamborough, Feb 2015. Andy Hood.

Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Water Lane, Flamborough, Feb 2015. local photographer, Craig Thomas.

Adult Greenland White-fronted Goose, Water Lane, Flamborough, Feb 2015. local photographer, Craig Thomas.

Some other White-fronted Geese from east and west

We have managed to collect a few different images, nuances and taxa of the White-fronted Geese.

1st winter Greenland and Russian White-fronted Geese

Fuller post with videos HERE

 

1st winter Greenland Whitefront, Cleveland, 21 Jan. 2012 Martin Garner

1st winter Greenland Whitefront, Cleveland, 21 Jan. 2012 Martin Garner

1st winter Greenland Whitefront with Russian Whitefronts Cleveland, 21 Jan. 2012 Martin Garner. Note the 1st winter Russian, head down in centre and compare bill shape and extent of white with bird in Israel below.

1st winter Greenland Whitefront with Russian Whitefronts Cleveland, 21 Jan. 2012 Martin Garner. Note the 1st winter Russian, head down in centre and compare bill shape and extent of white with bird in Israel below.

1st winter Greenland Whitefront with Russian Whitefronts, Cleveland, 21 Jan. 2012 Martin Garner

1st winter Greenland Whitefront with Russian Whitefronts, Cleveland, 21 Jan. 2012 Martin Garner

Eastern/ Pacific White-fronted Goose.

Talking about birds which are more normally seen wintering along the Pacific Rim – albicans and frontalis. Still think this one looks about right. Written up more fully HERE.

First winter probable 'Eastern'Whitefront, Yotvata, Israel, Yoav Perlman

First winter probable ‘Eastern’Whitefront, Yotvata, Israel, Yoav Perlman

 

First winter probable 'Eastern'Whitefront, Yotvata, Israel, Yoav Perlman

First winter probable ‘Eastern’ Whitefront, Yotvata, Israel, Yoav Perlman

Russian White-fronted Geese

Adult and 1st w Russian Whitefront at Seaton Common, January 2012, Tristan Reid

Adult and 1st w Russian Whitefront at Seaton Common, January 2012, Tristan Reid

Russian White-front with orange bill. More HERE.

orange-pink-whitefronts-fronted-geese-slimbridge-14-10-11-j-lees-c

Greenland White-front with pinky bill. More HERE.

james-mccallum-11