This is a totally unmistakable black goose. It has a white face and forehead but otherwise black from the breast upwards. It has a silvery scalloped belly and pleasant barred back - mainly grey.
This bird breeds in Eastern Greenland, on Svarlbard (Spitzbergen) and in the area of Jan Mayen. These populations migrate to different areas - Western Ireland and Western Scotland for the Greenland birds, the Solway (on the border between Scotland and England) and the North Sea coast from Belgium to Denmark for the other two populations. Recently feral birds have started to breed very successfully in the Baltic.
These birds used to be deemed fish! This was done because they suddenly came from the sea and looked vaguely like barnacles (obviously fish) and it was jolly nice to be able to eat them on fast days when meat could not be eaten!
A very neat medium-sized goose.
Length 640 mm Closed wing 400 mm Weight 1800 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead