Light Bellied Brent Goose


Winter migrant from high-Arctic Canada. Most occur in Ireland between October and April. This population winters almost entirely in Ireland, with small numbers in parts of Britain and France.

It is a small dark goose, with a black head, neck and breast, and dark-brown upperparts and pale underparts. Almost whitish flanks, and small white crescent on the upperparts of the neck visible at close range.

Credit: BirdWatch Ireland

The video link below shares details of the Dublin Bay UNESCO Biosphere Brent geese research programme which aim to learn more about Brent Geese with a view to ultimately assist in the management and protection of this iconic species.

Brent Geese Video

Bee Orchid

On dry, sandy soil, dunes and limestone pastures, in June and July this is such a delight to find.  There is no problem identifying a Bee Orchid from all other orchids – its lovely gold and brown velvety lower lip is patterned to resemble the back end of a visiting bumblebee, this in order to attract a similar insect and thereby assist in pollinating the plant.  This perennial orchid grows to about 30-40cm high with an erect stem which is clasped by two oblong, lanceolate leaves. Several other leaves form a basal rosette.  The unmistakeable flowers are borne in spikes and have three spreading pink sepals, two short green upper petals and a large round lower petal which is deep brown and has gold markings. This is a native plant and it belongs to the family Orchidaceae. 

Credit: Wildflowers of Ireland