GRC Blog

Welcome to the GRC Recorders pages. This blog provides details on all the relevant news of Glamorgan’s scarcer birds, plus all BBRC & WRP decisions that affect us locally. It will also be used to document the status and occurrence of these scarcer species and we welcome contributions from anyone with photographs, artwork or documentation of rarities past, present and future. The GRC also welcomes all seawatching news from around Glamorgan and news of passage migrants in spring & autumn, uncommon birds in our area and unusual behaviour.

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Sunday, 6 January 2013

putative Grey-bellied Brent

Video grabs unmodified:
putative Grey-bellied Brent 06 Jan 13
putative Grey-bellied Brent 06 Jan 13
I'm sure this is the same bird that I saw last year and reported as a probable hybrid (which it may well be?).
It stands out from the crowd even at distance and first impression is Pale-bellied Brent, however, when seen at closer quarters it clearly has a uniform dingy belly that extends between and beyond the legs, fading out to the rear (probably clearer in the video clip than the grabs). Another pro-Grey-bellied character is the subtly browner tone to the upperparts. The neck ring falls within the mid-range for Dark-bellied, whereas typically Grey-bellied should be more pronounced. Given the variation in neck-rings in Dark-bellied (check out the video clip) this is may not that important a character? I guess the most plausible explanation for this bird is that it is a hybrid between DB & PB Brents given its apparent intermediate appearance. It's worth looking for if you're on the north shore of the Burry. The flock has been regular on the saltmarsh between Crofty and Wernffrwd and it would be useful to obtain better images and more opinion.

 bright Dark-bellied Brent 06 Jan 13
This was another interesting bird that stood out in the flock; the white flanks were nowhere near as conspicuous as the bird above, but the neck ring was very large, but not connected at the front or rear. I suspect this is just a bright Dark-bellied Brent.

Click here for video [NB. There are two video clips, the first following the pGB, then a general scan through the flock, briefly following the bDB then the pGB. Apologies for the quality I was hand holding my DSLR to the eyepiece].


Mark Hipkin said...

Very interesting topic Barry. Your post has certainly opened my eyes to Brent Goose 'race' identification and more particularly their origins. I certainly wasn't in a position to make much of a comment going into your post for the first time, and it was nice to do an online search. Dave Astins put together a post back in Nov 2008 on Pembsbirds which is useful and has some nice links for further reading.

Also, I found that Birding world vol 10 No 1; vol 14 No 4 has some useful articles.

I've certainly seen some Brents at the Burry that I've assumed were 'bright DB Brents' and further to this post I'll be looking forward to studying them a bit closer in the future.

Dave A said...

Interesting stuff. Also worth pointing out these better pics of the Gann bird mentioned by Mark above:

Both Paul Grennard & I consider the Gower bird to be perhaps whiter on the flanks, too white?

Barry Stewart said...

Thanks both for your comments. If you wait until the very end of the video there is another bird of interest. I'll try and get some better images of these intriguing birds...