Barnacle Goose – 2021-22 Winter

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. 

The 1980s counts are for a flock that spent the winters between Skomer and Marloes Mere (see Barnacle Goose – 1994 for more details).

The counts since 2005 refer mainly to a feral flock breeding Cardigan Island, and wintering on the Teifi Estuary. One or two birds are sometimes seen elsewhere, usually in the company of other geese. As the geese often feed away from the estuary, they may not be present for WeBS counts.

More about the Barnacle Goose in Pembrokeshire

Barnacle Goose – 2013 WeBS

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. 

The graph shows the total maximum counts each winter for all Pembrokeshire sites in the Wetland Bird Survey. The black bars represent the Cleddau Estuary complex. The blue bars represent all other sites, both freshwater and saltwater. There may be higher counts at other times during each winter.

The 1980s counts are for a flock that spent the winters between Skomer and Marloes Mere (see Barnacle Goose – 1994 for more details).

The counts since 2005 refer mainly to a feral flock breeding Cardigan Island, and wintering on the Teifi Estuary. One or two birds are sometimes seen elsewhere, usually in the company of other geese.

More about the Barnacle Goose in Pembrokeshire

Barnacle Goose – 1994

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in May and June

Mathew (1894) considered the Barnacle Goose to be a winter visitor arriving in October, while Lockley et al. (1949) cite only occasional occurrences, such as birds at Orielton and St Davids. This pattern persisted, with up to three noted in 38% of the post Lockley et al. years. Widely kept in collections throughout Britain, and with thriving feral colonies established in several places in southern England, it is likely that most, if not all, of the occasional records refer to birds of feral origin. However, a small passage has been noted in October which is more likely to concern wild birds and it was to this that Lockley et al. were referring when they noted that Barnacle Geese were “seen passing at sea off Skokholm in winter”.

A flock of about 50 settled on Ramsey Island in October and November 1968 but it is not known whether they wintered there. A few Barnacle Geese began to winter on Skomer in 1981 and by 1989 this had built up to 130 birds. They have arrived as early as 4 January and in 1989 remained until 13 April. Similar numbers frequented Bittell reservoir, Worcestershire, for a month or so before arrival in Pembrokeshire and although the area of their origin is not known the sighting of a Dutch ringed bird in the Midlands suggests that Siberia is likely. Skomer was blanketed by snow in January 1985 covering the food plants of the geese which moved to nearby Marloes Mere where grass was still exposed. They subsequently used both sites but stayed at Skomer in late March, departing during April. The flock unfortunately did not return after 1989.

Donovan J.W. & Rees G.H, 1994, Birds of Pembrokeshire

More about the Barnacle Goose in Pembrokeshire

Barnacle Goose – 1980s winter

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in May and June

Up to three birds were recorded in one 10 Km square during the 1981 – 1984 Winter Atlas.

The National Nature Reserve of Skomer was managed by a Warden from March to October during the Atlas years but not in the winter, when only occasional visits were made. These few visits indicated that up to 39 Barnacle Geese over wintered on the island but this information was not made available to the Winter Atlas, so is not represented on the map.

Graham Rees. Pembrokeshire County Bird Recorder 1981-2007

Data collected by volunteers for the BTO. Lack, P. 1986 Atlas of wintering birds in Britain and Ireland. T & A.D. Poyser.

More about the Barnacle Goose in Pembrokeshire

Barnacle Goose – 1894

Bernicla leucopsis

A winter visitor, not so numerous as the Brent Goose.

Has been shot by Sir Hugh Owen, on Goodwick sands, where it generally arrives about the first of October, and is often met with in company with the flocks of Brent Geese. It has also occurred at Orielton, near Milford Haven, as we are informed by Col. Saurin. A freshly shot specimen was washed ashore near St. David’s, at the beginning of December, 1893, as we learn from Mr. Mortimer Propert.

Mathew M.A. 1894, Birds of Pembrokeshire and its Islands

More about the Barnacle Goose in Pembrokeshire

Barnacle Goose

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. 

Barnacle Goose – 2013 WeBS

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant.  The graph shows the total maximum counts each winter for all Pembrokeshire sites in the Wetland Bird Survey. The black bars represent the Cleddau Estuary complex. The blue bars represent all other sites, both freshwater and saltwater. There may be higher counts at other times […]

Barnacle Goose – 1994

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in May and June Mathew (1894) considered the Barnacle Goose to be a winter visitor arriving in October, while Lockley et al. (1949) cite only occasional occurrences, such as birds at Orielton and St Davids. This pattern persisted, with up to three noted in 38% of the post Lockley et […]

Barnacle Goose – 1980s winter

Branta leucopsis – GWYDD WYRAN – Winter visitor and passage migrant. Not recorded in May and June Up to three birds were recorded in one 10 Km square during the 1981 – 1984 Winter Atlas. The National Nature Reserve of Skomer was managed by a Warden from March to October during the Atlas years but not in the winter, when […]