|(c) P. Croft|
The nominate Dark-bellied Brent Goose (Branta bernicla bernicla) is by far the most frequent race with numbers wintering in the Burry Inlet usually peaking around the 900 mark in the last five years (see plot below: Gower Ornithological Society data), although a maximum of 1,680 was recorded during the 2005/6 winter. These birds breed along the Arctic coasts of central and western Siberia.
There are only two occurrences of Blank Brant (B.b. nigricans) in our area, both birds overwintering with Dark-bellies in the Burry/Whiteford. The breeding range extends from north-western Canada, across Alaska and in to eastern Siberia.
Next time you chance upon some Brents away from the Burry, see if their bellies are pale or dark and it will give you a greater appreciation of these long distance travellers.