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Brent Goose Branta bernicla L 56-61cm. Our smallest goose – similar size to Shelduck. Subtle plumage patterns allow separation of two subspecies that winter here: Pale-bellied Brent B.b.hrota (breeds on Svalbard and Greenland) and Dark-bellied Brent B.b.bernicla (breeds in Russia). Seen in sizeable and noisy flocks. In flight, looks dark except for white rear end. All birds have a black bill and black legs. Sexes are similar. Adult Pale-bellied has blackish head, neck and breast; side of neck has narrow band of white feathers. Note neat division between dark breast and pale grey-buff belly. Back is uniform dark brownish grey. Adult Dark-bellied is similar but belly is darker and flanks are paler. Juveniles are similar to respective adults but note pale feather margins on back and absence of white markings on side of neck; white on neck is acquired in New Year. Voice Very vocal, uttering a nasal krrrut. Status Winter visitor to coasts.
- © PAUL STERRY/Nature Photographers
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