Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Special birds: Red-breasted Goose

In some years the bulk of the world population of Red-breasted Goose Branta ruficollis winters on the plains and coastal wetlands of the Black Sea coast in Romania and Bulgaria. These small, attractive geese breed far to the north-east on the Siberian tundra but pour down in November to spend their winter in a relatively milder climate, usually staying until March. Though there can be 60,000 Red-breasts in this wintering area they can however be surprisingly hard to find as the area (Dobrudja) is vast, the landscape rolling and conditions often tough. Flocks also move on once feeding areas, often fields of winter wheat, are exhausted.

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