Pale bellied Brent at Bunessan October 2010
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This goose was ringed in SW Iceland in May 2007
and over winters in Ireland, it has made the journey several times but
on this occasion it was blown east onto Mull. It will continue its journey
after a few days of feeding and rest.
These hrota pale-bellied brent
are from the East Canadian High Arctic flyway population. They breed up
amongst the polar bears very far north in Canada, and over winter mainly
in Ireland, although some birds also go to western GB, the Channel Islands
and France (mainly Normandy). They stage for a considerable period in spring
and autumn in Iceland, and have a hazardous trip over the Greenland Icecap
in between. The current flyway population is of the order of 40,000 birds.
The current ringing programme commenced
in 2001. Ringing mainly by canon-netting in Ireland, and on the spring
migration in Iceland in May. One expedition has been mounted to catch birds
in Canada, when about 200 birds were caught whilst flightless (herded by
helicopter!!). Overall we have now caught over 3,500 geese, so it
is well worthwhile checking out any flocks you might come across for leg-rings.
Currently re-sightings are reaching about 10,000 records per year from
the wintering grounds, and a further 5,000 from Iceland in spring and autumn.
Pale bellied Brent at Loch na Keal October 2010.
image by Bill Jackson
all images below by Sindri Skulason
Pale bellied Brent Goose
by Sindri Skulason