February is “month of the geese” in Bulgaria this winter. Among the big flocks of Greater White-fronted Geese in the regions of Dobrudzha, Burgas and Belene, the globally threatened Red-breasted Geese also appeared. These two species are relatively easy to distinguish in the field, due to their different sizes, plumage, flight behaviour and call. Amongst the Greater White-fronted Geese, however, some more difficult for identification species stay sometimes “hidden”.
Here is what BSPB experts found during the field work:
• In the area of the Durankulak Lake in Dobrudzha, besides the hundreds of Red-breasted Geese, 2 Lesser White-fronted Geese (A. erythropus), which are also a globally threatened species, were observed. A very interesting goose with odd plumage was also photographed in the area. The opinion of the experts is that it is most likely a hybrid between a Greater White-fronted Goose and a dark morph of Ross`s Goose (Anser rossii), a species from North America.
• In the region of Burgas, 2 Bean Geese (A. fabalis) and at least 1 Lesser White-fronted Goose were spotted.
• In the marshes of Persin island near the town of Belene, 5 Lesser White-fronted Geese and one Tundra Bean Goose were detected.
Photos: Nikolay Stefanov, Svilen Cheshmedjiev