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? (pink-footed) (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.


    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.


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

  • Pinkfeet


    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


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