Hutchins's Canada Goose - Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii

In the afternoon at around 14:30 hours of Sunday March 9th 1997 Leon Edelaar, Pim Edelaar and me (Jan van der Laan), were looking for geese at the Anjummerkolken in Friesland. At first we found a Black Brant Branta nigricans, but after an hour or so, we discovered a Hutchins's Canada Goose Branta hutchinsii hutchinsii, one of the smaller taxa, between the thousands of Barnacle Geese Branta leucopsis. Also there was a BBC-team with Bill Oddie and Chris Peckham, who saw this bird as well, not knowing the importance of this discovery. We warned other birders, but only one car from Groningen made it with Leo Boon, Eric Koops and Roef Mulder, just before it flew away at 16:00 hours and was not seen again. I took two pictures through my telescope. Visible is a small short-necked Canada Goose with an off-white breast.

9 March Anjummerkolken, Anjum Fr; © Jan van der Laan.

After review of all records of the Lesser Canada Geese, this proved to be the first accepted record for the Netherlands and also my first new species for the Netherlands in 1997! After this record, only four more records were accepted of this taxon, one from 16 November 1997 to 2 January 1998, 9-12 February 1998, 11-18 April 1998, and 24-26 April 1998 (probably the same individual as the first 1997 bird) (cf Dutch Birding 24 (3): 142-150, 2002).

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