That title sounds like something from a James Bond movie, sorry, but the sentiment is true enough. I’m referring to the White-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) I saw hanging out with a flock of Greylags during my recent visit to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve in Sussex (on the left in the photo below).
The ‘white front’ in its name refers to the white patch on the front of its head around the beak and, as you can see, it’s quite a bit smaller than the Greylags, though its diet is similar: grass, clover, grain, wheat and potatoes.
These birds don’t breed in Britain but geese from two separate races frequently over-winter here; the birds with orange beaks breed in Greenland, and those with pink beaks, like the one I saw, breed in Siberia. The Greenland birds tend to over-winter in western Scotland and in Ireland, while the Greenland birds prefer southern England. They’re usually only seen from October through to March but the ranger said this one appeared with this flock of Greylags and has stayed on at the reserve with them. Maybe it doesn’t like the cold!