White-fronted Goose – colour-marked birds

Anser albifrons – GWYDD DALCEN-WEN – Scarce winter visitor and passage migrant

All records relate to birds of the Greenland race A.a. flavirostris: seven at Marloes Mere 26th Oct, presumably the same as at Dale Airfield 29th Oct, one of which was sporting a neck collar CDZ – put on at Wexford in March 2003. 14 at Trevine Common 26th Oct – 16th Nov.

The above records from the Pembrokeshire Bird Report 2018

Tony Fox (Greenland White-fronted Goose Study) confirmed the bird at Marloes Mere on 26 Oct, and again on Dale Airfield on 29 Oct was CDZ. Tony gave a bit more of his biography and sightings:

This was first autumn male we caught at a place called Hvanneyri in west Iceland on 23 September 2017.  This site is the home of the Agricultural University of Iceland where they maintain a large area of hayfields adjacent to natural wetlands which are a magnet for the White-fronted Geese in both spring and autumn when they pass through.  We are not entirely sure of his parents, as he associated with two other collared individuals V3Y and a bird fitted with a telemetry collar (both adult females when they were caught in the same catch), as well as a unmarked adult that obviously escaped capture on that occasion whilst in Iceland following capture.  You will see on the attached list of all resightings of marked Greenland White-fronted Geese away from Wexford (where the vast majority are marked and resighted) your bird wintered last year on Wexford Slobs (as do many of the geese that stage in Hvanneyri), where it was also seen with the same marked/unmarked associates.  Interestingly, CDZ was not seen at Hvanneyri this autumn, which is somewhat unusual, since as well as being incredibly site loyal to their winter quarters, these geese also tend to use the same spring and autumn staging areas in successive seasons. Andrew Simms, Pembs Bird Blog

N2A was reported by Brian Southern at Marloes on 26 October 2018. Tony Fox provided the following information: N2A was a female caught as a first-winter bird at Wexford Slobs Ireland in March 2003, with siblings N5A, J0Z and J8Z (also females) and adults N0A and N3A (females) and N7A (probably the Dad), with which she associated the rest of that winter.  It is not clear if N0A or N3A was the Mum, because offspring of previous years may associate with their parents for up to 13 years.  N3A had likely laid eggs in summer 2003, N0A possibly may have done, so that does not really solve the question, so N2A’s parentage is a little in doubt.  She associated with most of these individuals again the following year, but from 2004/5 she has been on her own, wintering most years as you will see at Wexford, but I have seen her a few times in Iceland as well in the intervening years. An Icelandic friend of Tony Fox adds that the “birds had a golden opportunity to use favourable tail-winds all the way to UK on Wednesday and Thursday (24th and 25th October). They all seem to have jumped on that train. Winter has arrived. We now have frost and the mountains have turned white. All ponds and lakes near Hvanneyri are frozen.” Brian Southern, Pembs Bird Blog

Three collared Geese X0C, X6D, X9K were amongst the 14 reported at Trevine between 26 October and 14 November 2018. Tony Fox provided this information: All three geese were caught at Wexford North Slob by Alyn Walsh of the National Park and Wildlife Service, part of a very long-running programme of research there on the population, started in 1982/83.  X0C and X6D were both marked as first winter females in March 2013, with X9K an adult female caught in the same catch.  In the winter of 2013/14, these three birds returned to Wexford.  They were not seen in the winter of 2014/15 (nor 2017/18), but in winter 2015/16 X0J, X6D and X9K were seen together at Wexford, and X6D in 2016/17. The only other record we have was of X0C seen in the southern lowlands of Iceland in October 2016 although X6D was seen very briefly at Hvanneyri in west Iceland this autumn.  Wendy James, Pembs Bird Blog

Skokholm 2014 – colour-marked bird – A vocal White-fronted Goose which headed west over the Farm on 10th November was the first record since 16 on 14th March and 12th April 2010 (RDB). Distant views of a departing goose would not usually lead to sub-specific identification, but close inspection of a distant photograph revealed an orange neck collar and white darvic ring. Although the inscriptions which would have identified the individual were illegible at such a range, the combination of collar and ring show this to be one of over 2600 birds ringed in Greenland (T. Fox pers. comm.). The two subspecies of White-fronted Goose to occur in Wales have both been recorded on Skokholm, although where sub-specific identification has been possible it is Greenland White-fronted Goose A. a. flavirostris which has proven commonest. Skokholm Bird Report 2014

More about the White-fronted Goose in Pembrokeshire