How easy is a pink footed goose ID in flight?

Hi can anyone give me a bit of advice on this one? I was at cley marshes 2 days ago, and about 2pm there was 3 or 4 big waves of geese flying overhead in formation, NW, being very noisy. They landed but out of sight further up the coast. Quite a spectacle.

I didn't take a picture unfortunately, but the formations were relatively wide collections of loose Vs across the sky, very much like the stock photo below (which is just from a google search), but it was a quarter of that size. I.e. the photo shows a much larger formation than the ones I saw.

I'm assuming they were pink footed geese from what I've heard and read, but my question is: is it possible to confidently ID them as such based on their formation and noise, plus the time of year and the location? Is there anything else that a formation of that size (and volume) could reasonably be? If it's not enough, then what would more experienced birdwatchers look for, I couldn't really make out any distinguishing features through my binoculars when I looked up.

  • Sorry no idea but wow! ;-)

    (Pardon the Scottish Accent)

  • Not from the photo I don't think, though it's quite possible -- there are a lot of Brents in North Norfolk too, I recently discovered, so you'd want to rule them out.

    Geese are usually pretty noisy in flight so maybe that may help?

    https://xeno-canto.org/628213 (pink-footed)

    https://xeno-canto.org/397449 (Brent)
  • Ideally if you could zoom in on a lot fewer geese in flight to see the plumage and other distinguishing marks, then we would have a better chance.

    Its a lovely photo and quite a sizable formation and nicely atmospheric, one I'd be happy with in my collection.

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • If you are talking of i.d. in the field their call is quite different from the Greylags we usually hear plus the shape of the skein is helpful. Like a lot of these things confidence comes with time spent in the field.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Pinkfeet

    S

    For advice about Birding, Identification,field guides,  binoculars, scopes, tripods,  etc - put 'Birding Tips'   into the search box

  • In reply to Internetman:

    These good recording really show the difference in calls with the Brent sounding, to me, like a yapping terrier. From my watching experience Brents do not fly in such great numbers but we do not see so many in our bit of N.Yorks so any is a great sight for us

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can