brent goose



brent goose defined in 1930 year

brent goose - Brent Goose;
brent goose - Bill, head, throat, and neck black, except a small white patch on each side of the latter; mantle brownish black with rufous- brown edges; wing-feathers, rump, and tail black; coverts white; upper breast black; lower breast and belly slate-grey; legs black. Length, twenty-three inches.

The brent goose arrives in our islands in the autumn, and remains through the winter in suitable localities in various parts of the coast, from the Orkneys and Shetlands in the north to the Channel Islands; it is, however, most abundant on the north-east coast of England. In most years old and young birds arrive to gether in flocks; in other years only adults appear, and it is supposed that in such seasons exceptionally cold weather has prevented the eggs from hatching. The brent differs from its nearest ally, the barnacle goose, in its slightly smaller size, darker plumage, which is nearly black, and its more marine habits. With us it spends most of the time out at sea, visiting the tidal flats early and late in the day, and at night, to feed on the wrack grass (Zostera marina). Mr. Abel Chapman has graphically described this goose in his ' Bird Life on the Border.' It is, he says, the last of our winter visitors to arrive, seldom coming in force until the new year. Their affections are so hyperborean that they will come no farther south than they are actually compelled by food requirements, being driven reluctantly southwards, point by point, before the advancing line of the winter's ice. He writes: ' On alighting at the feeding-grounds the geese at once commence greedily to pull up and devour the blades of the sea-grass, the whole flock advancing in the closest order over the green oozy mud, all heads down except the sentries, of which an ample number are always discernible.... After finishing theii morning meal, about noon, the geese are disposed to rest, and spend the middle of the day floating about on the water, preening them selves, and, in mild weather, splashing about, and chasing each other in sheer exuberance of spirit.... Towards evening the geese recommence feeding, and so intensely eager are they about sunset to utilise the few remaining minutes that they then, perhaps, offer the most favourable chance to get within shot.... Just at dark the whole host rise on wing together, and make for the open sea. In the morning they come in by companies and battalions, but at night they go out in a solid army; and a fine sight it is to witness their departure. The whole host, perhaps ten thousand strong, here massed in dense phalanxes, elsewhere in columns, tailing off into long skeins, Y's, or rectilinear formations of every conceivable shape, but always with a certain formation - out they go;... while their loud clanging honk honk, and its running accompaniment of lower croaks and shrill bi-tones, resound for miles around.'

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