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Dark-bellied brent goose

What am I?

The brent goose is a small, dark goose – of similar size to a mallard. They spend the winter feeding on eel grass and grazing in coastal fields. At the start of February, with spring approaching, they gather in their largest numbers, preparing for the long journey back to Arctic Russia.

How to spot them

Brent geese have a black head and neck and grey-brown back, with either a pale or dark belly, depending on the race. Adults have a small white neck patch. It flies in loose flocks along the coast, rather than in tight skeins like grey geese.

Where to see them

Brent geese can be seen around estuaries and saltmarshes. Main concentrations of dark-bellied birds in the Wash, the North Norfolk coastal marshes, Essex estuaries, the Thames Estuary and Chichester and Langstone Harbours.

Conservation status

The dark bellied brent goose is amber listed in the UK

Did you know?

Brent geese are famed for stopping the development of an airport on Foulness.

Dark bellied brent geese