Black Brant (黑雁) – first for Beijing

BRENT GOOSE (Branta bernicla, 黑雁) is a rare bird in China.  So when one was found at Huairou Reservoir (about 60km from the centre of the capital) by Beijing birder Ms Hou Xiaoru on Thursday 24 April, it caused something of a ‘twitch’ with several groups of birders paying it a visit over the following few days.  And, as I write this, the bird is still present!

The form of Brent Goose found in east Asia is the subspecies nigricans or “Black Brant”.  An initial trawl for China records shows it to be very rare with just four previous records in the China Bird Report database, Birdtalker:

29 December 2001: Rongcheng, Shandong Province

8 June 2007: Pikou, Liaoning Province

18-19 April 2008: Zhuanghe, Liaoning Province

29-30 January 2010: Danjiangkou, Hubei Province

Thanks to Zhu Lei for information about an additional record of 203 birds in Shandong Province in November 1998.

Birdtalker is not comprehensive, so there are almost certainly additional records in China but the scarcity of recent sightings in this database demonstrates that this is an astonishing record for Beijing and big congratulations must go to Hou Xiaoru for finding it and spreading the news!  I believe it is species number 457 for the capital.

Here is a photo and a short video of the bird taken yesterday, 30 April 2014 using an i-Phone 5 and the Swarovski ATS95 at 70x magnification (simply awesome kit!).

Beijing's first BRENT GOOSE, of the ssp nigricans or "Black Brant", Huairou Reservoir, 30 April 2014.

Beijing’s first BRENT GOOSE (黑雁), of the ssp nigricans or “Black Brant”, Huairou Reservoir, 30 April 2014.

 

 

About these ads

About Terry Townshend

I am a British birder living and birding in Beijing from August 2010 until 2015. Through this blog I hope I can convey a sense of what it is like to live in this thriving, confident and contrasting city and the birdlife that can be found in its environs. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it! Terry Townshend, Beijing September 2010
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Black Brant (黑雁) – first for Beijing

  1. Paul Holt says:

    Hi Terry
    Another cracking addition to the burgeoning Beijing list – I’m very envious.

    The excellent Birds Korea website details a few more China records of Black Brant

    http://www.birdskoreablog.org/?p=4886

    - and then of course Tom (Beeke) had one at Jinshitan, Liaoning in spring 2013
    Paul

  2. Hi Paul.. I thought you would know more! Thanks very much for the link to that great article (and the comments below it). See you soon, Terry

  3. daviddvd says:

    Hi Terry,
    I’d like to include this photo of Brant Goose in Beijing BWS’s Wechat page, with your name. It’s it OK?
    Best Wishes, Shen

  4. Hi Shen. No problem. You can always use any of my photos! Terry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s