Sam Robbins wrote in Wisconsin Birdlife that brant are a rare migrant in Wisconsin. From 1900 to 1990 Robbins found seven spring records including one in Columbia County by Daryl Tessen. There were 17 fall records including the largest flock of 16 seen in Oconto County in 1980 by Tom Erdman. In the past 27 years, there have been eight additional sightings in Wisconsin including a 1999 record from Schoeneberg Marsh by Mike Goodman.
The first brant record for Goose Pond was when Chester (Bart) Martin documented a brant on March 5, 2000. We saw the brant on March 8th before Mark went to Sam Robbins’s funeral. Unfortunately, Sam never saw a brant in Wisconsin.
Thanks to Arlene and Tom, hundreds of birdwatchers have visited the pond since March 29th. Forty six people have already recorded their brant observation at Goose Pond Sanctuary in ebird.
We invite you to visit Goose Pond this weekend and look for the brant and other waterfowl. There are around 3,700 Canada and cackling geese present so one should look carefully to find the brant. Monica Hall photographed the brant on the morning of April 5th and the evening of April 6th. Mornings and evenings are the ideal times to locate the brant. During the day most of the geese spend their days feeding and resting in farm fields and wetlands and return to Goose Pond about one-half hour before sunset. Monica mentioned that the brant likes to fly with the small cackling geese.
Goose Pond may also have had the largest numbers of Ross’s geese ever seen in the state. Our high count of Ross’s was 288. Ross’s were also very rare with only three Wisconsin records before 1990.
To keep up with bird sightings you can subscribe to the Wisconsin Birding Network (Wisbirdn).
To SUBSCRIBE, use the Wisbirdn web interface at: http://www.freelists.org/list/wisbirdn
Visit Wisbirdn ARCHIVES at: http://www.freelists.org/archives/wisbirdn
Arlene's Photo Gallery: Gallery
Monica's Photo Gallery: Gallery
By Mark and Sue Foote-Martin, Goose Pond Sanctuary Managers