Wednesday, 28 March 2012

First Brent arrivals in Iceland

This period of fine weather has no doubt accelerated the annual exodus of Brent (and other geese) northwards. By all accounts Barnacles, Greenland White-fronted and Brent are existing Irish airspace and I watched a flock of Whoopers fly out into the Atlantic about 10 days ago.
On 25th Gudmundur reported the first observations from western Iceland - 5 birds without rings. No doubt the numbers are well up on that by now.
A picture of Gudmundur's two dogs attached. They were the first to spot the birds and are looking forward to many hours of their guardian abandoning them in the house or the boot of the jeep now that 'Brent season' is upon us.
Note that 'Tina' (on the left) is all geared up for feeding labrador puppies....


  1. 15 reported at Skogtjörn, Alftanes on Monday 26th March. Saw 14 there yesterday 28th March - all unmarked adults. Today a flock og 30-40 was reported from the same site. The first sightings are always at Alftanes and it can take a week or 10 days before they appear in Blautós and Grunnafjördur, only 25km away as bird fly. First arrivals at Snaefellsnes are often later still.

  2. The numbers at Alftanes grew to 96 in the afternoon of 26th March and to 128 brent geese on Friday 30th March, but have remained stable since. Only reports from elsewhere are 27 from Grindavik in SW on Saturday and 60-80 in small flocks south of Sandgerdi in SW. No reports yet from sites North of us. As usual there is little chance of reading rings so early as they spend all the time on sea foraging on green algae. Newgrowth on saltmarshes and fields has not begun yet. Managed to read two marked birds yesterday: SLWR and ZCLY standinga on stones preening.

  3. New arrivals yesterday with 250 at Alftanes and 64 at Seltjarnarnes. Read a few rings. The season has begun after some delay due to unfavourable winds.