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WHITLINGHAM: A new hybrid goose

11th June 2011

Exciting times this afternoon, as I found a new hybrid goose at Whitlingham! Superficially resembling a Barnacle Goose in size, beak shape and head pattern, the back was dark and there was a brown tinge to the back of the white on the face. It was with a large flock of Canada Geese and a Canada x Greylag hybrid (also pictured). If anyone wants to comment on parentage, or has seen this goose elsewhere in Norfolk or North Suffolk then I would be pleased to hear from you.

Click to enlarge if you really want to...

Other than this goose there wasn't much to write home about. No sign of the Spotfly, but there was a singing Garden Warbler near the Little Broad carpark. A Norfolk Hawker and several Black-tailed Skimmers were flying along the south shore, whilst a Cinnabar Moth and a Large Skipper were found amongst the vegetation. Rather than walk around the back of the broad I went up to the end of the Lime Tree Avenue to search for partridges. Whilst here I saw some Meadow Browns, then absent mindedly looked at the skyline above the meadows. Ah. Up until last week I had never seen a Peregrine at Whitlingham, and yet all this time there was a vantage point where I could have set up my 'scope, brought some sandwiches and just waited to see one flying up to the cathedral. No wonder I never see anything, I'm not paying attention!

Who put that there?


  1. Aha, it looks like it's a Barnacle Goose x Red-breasted Goose hybrid! Will Soar photographed it at Strumpshaw on 23rd April - I was hoping it would be re-discovered somewhere! Thanks for the text.

  2. No problem, and thanks for the info. I have the Gillhams books on Hybrid Ducks, but the only reference material I have for geese is a paper that Andy Bloomfield did for Birding World, so unless its obvious I don't guess at parentage anymore!