White-fronted goose?

Hello All. I saw this goose this morning in Lincolnshire. I believe it's a White-Front, but just want to make sure as I have not seen one before. No dark belly stripes, so I guess it's a juvenile? The books say that Bean Goose can have a quite blaze too, so I need an expert opinion! Thanks.


  • Hi Roger, based on the white fringe around the beak, i would go with White-Front. Greylags don't seem to have that, and Bean Geese have a darker bill without the white fringe. Happy to be corrected, however!

  • Hmm, the subtle differences between geese!  The limited number I've seen, White Fronted tend to have a pinker bill and more orangey legs - the orange bill and pink legs suggest Greylag.  Some Greylag do have a small white ring around the bill like this (If White-Front, the books suggest this would be the correct amount of white at the end of the bird's first winter, so maybe a bit early).

    Not easy though, especially if it's by itself (Greylags are bigger, but that doesn't help much if it's a lone bird).  Need some more opinions methinks :-)


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  • A couple of differences why I think it's a Greylag.

    Looking at photos of the two Greylag or White Fronted, White Fronted seems to have more white around the Bill and doesn't have the ring round the eye like this one does...but maybe I've not seen enough photos.

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  • In reply to some3012:

    Differences between that example and the one posted by Roger include smaller bill, pink bill, short neck, darker head, small headed, browner appearance etc

  • It's a greylag. There are two races of white fronted goose in UK. Greenland race does have orange bill but are uncommon (and declining) and occur in Western Britain. Some greylag do have small amount of white behind base of bill, as your example does.

  • I'm also in the Greylag camp. I generally see quite a lot of them when I'm out and about and have seen a fair number of them with small amounts of white behind the bill.

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  • Thank you all for your wisdom. I will sadly conclude that it is a Greylag. I wish these birds would read the books!

  • Here are some White Fronted Geese that dropped in to Slimbridge in 2015. Hope they help




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