Brant Geese have arrived in the Comox Valley, at one of their favourite locations – Goose Spit in Comox. The geese are among the many species feeding on the herring eggs – a valuable source of protein for the birds. The Valley is an important stage in their life cycle before they continue north to the Arctic.
With a spectacular blue sky the Spit is worth visiting just for the views of the Comox Glacier.
The geese are just starting to arrive, so for now may be difficult to sort out from among the array of other birds without a good scope or binoculars. Brant may seem reminiscent of small Canada Geese, but have distinctive white collars. Other birds here are American Wigeon with whitish caps; Mallards with orange feet; and Mew Gulls with yellow legs.
The geese numbers will continue to increase over the next few weeks. In the meantime, other signs can be found: these prints indicate where birds were feeding higher up on the beach before the tide dropped.
Stray feathers are also an opportunity for further close-up study. Here the light casts the shadow of the feather back on itself in an intricate pattern.
Remember to give the Brant Geese some space: dogs are required to be leashed until May 20 from Goose Spit Park westward. (can run leash-free eastward below the bluffs) There is a fine for non-compliance.