Rare red-breasted goose from Siberia spotted in Norfolk after 34 years

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones

The rare red-breasted goose which hails from the Arctic region has been spotted in the salt marshes of Norfolk. 

The Norfolk Wildlife Trust in Cley are "thrilled" to host a rarely-seen guest which has ended up with the wrong flock. 

There are fewer than 40,000 red-breasted geese in the world and the species is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.

The last red-breasted goose which was seen in Norfolk was back in 1988.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones

Nick Acheson, wildlife ambassador for the trust, said: "Every few years one gets lost and gets carried to western Norfolk by dark-bellied brent geese.

"Red-breasted geese usually breed in western Siberia and winter in Bulgaria or Romania.

"It’s thrilling because the bird is beautiful and he is like an ambassador for the Arctic region where he comes from.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. It is made its home among a flock of brent geese. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones

Most Read

"I think he just got into the wrong crowd and ended up being pulled to western Europe by the migrating brent geese. They come to us every winter but this year he is adding a splash of colour to the flock."

The flock of brent geese including the red-breasted goose - which they believe is a male - can currently be spotted in Eye Field along Beach Road in Cley. 

Mr Acheson has advised bird-enthusiasts looking to catch a glimpse to visit the Wildlife Trust's visitor centre in Cley - so staff can point them in the right direction. 

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones

Mr Acheson added: "The flock goes to Blakeney harbour for night time and in the day comes to visit us in Cley - specifically in Eye Filed, along Beach Road.

"He may stick around for a number of weeks. Brent geese are often with us well into April. 

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones

"Lots of people have seen it and posted photos. There has been a lot of interest in the community. They are stunningly beautiful which is why people get so excited. But also very rare."

Following their stay in Norfolk, Mr Acheson said the flock of geese will gradually make their way back up to Siberia for breeding season. 

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk.

The rare red-breasted goose has been spotted in the Cley and Salthouse Marshes in north Norfolk. - Credit: Henry Wyn-Jones