13 Oct 2016

Greater White-fronted Geese

Here in HK we are generally too far south for geese.  There can be thousands of them 800 km north of here, along the Yangtse River at sites like Dongting and Poyang Lake.

So it’s always a thrill to see a goose.   On hearing that there was a Greater White-front on ponds 16/17 at Mai Po I went straight there.  Having arrived at the MP car park, I got a message that three geese were also showing in the ponds at San Tin.

Three seemed more alluring than one, so I decided to go to San Tin.

Fishponds at San Tin   -  Shenzhen highrise in the distance

A pin on an electronic map via WhatsApp should have been enough, but I overshot the spot and needed verbal directions back.  There they were, casually nibbling the grass on the bank of a drained fishpond.

Greater White-fronted Geese - Anser albifrons (frontalis)

Anyway, two adult Greater White-fronted Geese and a juvenile showed well for just over an hour. We wondered whether they had arrived with the fourth White-front which was simultaneously a couple of kilometres away in Mai Po.

Two adult "Whitefronts" - and a Greater Painted-Snipe

Eventually, our distinguished visitors got alarmed at something on the other side of their drained fishpond and took off, and to my knowledge, have not been seen since.

Greater White-fronted Geese - Anser albifrons (frontalis)

It was fun while it lasted.

Postscript :  Actually, the geese were seen again and again on the very same pond for at least ten days !


  1. They are passing through here too, these ones must have felt a bit lost!

    1. They have got a "where did the others go?" thought bubble...

  2. Seems strange to a North American to hear that geese are rarities. I can hear Canada Geese going overhead as I type this note. Snow Geese are already starting to arrive from the north too.

    1. We are just inside the tropics and very few geese get this far south.

  3. I'm pretty sure I saw them again at Mai Po on November 16th.

  4. Andrew, I'm sure you are right - these geese kept showing up right through the month of November !