Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Black Brant, Tetney Marshes

I called in Tetney marshes today in North Lincolnshire. There was an impressive flock of around 800 dark-bellied brent geese feeding on winter wheat on fields on the inland side of the coastal footpath. I managed to pick out at least one pale-bellied bird, and eventually a black brant. The latter was reported on Birdguides a few days ago, and assuming that todays bird was the same, it didn't stand out as much as I expected. Its white necklace was perfect, large, white and triangular, and joining under the chin, and almost meeting at the back, but its flanks weren't quite as white as I expected. I did a bit of research and it appears that there have been a number of black brant x dark-bellied hybrids reported in Norfolk in recent years which look quite similar to this bird, so perhaps it's a hybrid, though I don't know what the variation is in black brant, and looking at some photos from North America, they're not all as white as we sometimes think here in the UK.

Earlier I had called in at Cleethorpes and found a flock of snow bunting which have been reported on the beach there recently.

Year: 88

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