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White-fronted Goose

A winter visitor to the south east of Britain only occasionally seen as far west as Dorset 

Photograph by: 
Internet Open Source

Along with other species of 'native' geese the white-fronted goose is a winter visitor to Britain with substantial numbers at regular wintering sites on the south-east coast of England and the lower Severn estuary; to see them as far south west as Dorset is unusual. The white-fronted goose nests in the Arctic in Greenland and Siberia. The Greeenland bird, in general, over winter in Ireland and the Russian birds in south eastern England. It is illegal in Scotland to shoot them but that is not so in England and Wales and they are subject to  a degree of disturbance here. They make the trip south in late October and November when the weather gets too cold to remain further north. They return north to breed in April so if they are going to turn up in Dorset then January or February is the most likely time if the weather further north becomes too severe for them.


Common Name White-fronted Goose
Scientific Name Anser albifrons
Species Group Birds Geese
Status Rare
Interest Level
  • 10 - October
  • 11 - November
  • 12 - December
  • 01 - January
  • 02 - February
  • 03 - March
Look for

A dark greylag-like goose with a white fringe around the base of the bill  

Identification Notes
  • Smaller than a greylag with darker colouring
  • The white facial fringe around the bill occurs only in adults
  • Most likely to be seen in wet meadows by rivers near the sea 
Primary Habitat
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species

The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Notebook Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Recent Records Guidance Notes

To see related species click here: 

Birds Geese