Epic journey of the Brent goose
Each winter more than 1,000 Brent geese settle around Jersey’s coast and bays having travelled around 8,000 miles from arctic Siberia and Canada.”The first record of them in a Jersey history book was way back in 1694,” said Mike Stentiford, president of the National Trust for Jersey.
“Birds will only go from A to B because of the food source. If the food source is not there they won’t come.”
“We have beds which extend from Fliquet on the north east corner right the way around to St Aubin’s Bay,” said Greg Morel, Jersey’s marine and coastal officer .
“We have two types of sea grass. One is sub tidal, which means it is never exposed when the tides go out.
“Another one which is exposed is higher up the beach. It is a smaller type of sea grass, which looks like the grass you have in your garden,” he added.
Experts in Jersey are mapping the sea grasses in an attempt to monitor whether there are any significant changes.
“If we find there are changes we will investigate what might be done to mitigate those,” said Greg.
There are two species of Brent goose that make Jersey their winter holiday destination. The dark bellied variety spends a short summer in Iceland and further north into arctic Siberia.
They then make the epic journey to Jersey because of the winter food shortages in that most inhospitable part of the world.
“If you imagine Jersey on the global map, canada goose outlet in the northern hemisphere you have got the Channel Islands and the UK. Then you go right up to Greenland and Iceland,” said Mike Stentiford.
“The geese travel a definite pathway. The fact they have been flying this journey for hundreds of years shows the map is inbuilt into their little computer system, so to speak.”
The pale bellied geese come all the way from arctic Canada to St Aubin’s Bay. According to Mikethis is a very special destination.
“I believe there are only a handful of places, a few in Ireland and some on the French mainland.
The 8000 mile round trip will take them to Iceland over the Greenland ice cap and on to north east and high arctic Canada.
Keeping an eye on the birds as they come through is Dave Thompson, the National Trust property manager at Strangford Lough.
“The weather they can get, and I have sailed up there, can be quite appalling. If there is a strong wind in the opposite direction to the way they are travelling that can make the journey all the more strenuous,” he said.
“The weaker birds can be put under enormous pressure.canada goose outlet If they have not got well fed and aren’t in good condition those sort of journeys take their toll.”
Nature at its best
After a short breeding season the geese will start their journey back to Jersey. It is an awe inspiring event.
“This is nature at its best. I mean why go to the high arctic? Why not just stay in Jersey? But it doesn’t provide the sort of places they want to breed in and bring up youngsters,” said Dave.