March 2005. Barnacle Goose at Marsh Farm (escape, feral or wild?) and a Canada Goose hybrid. Note the latters leg colour, neck sleeve and dusky check patch. Image by WSM.
With recent sightings from Frodsham Score and Wigg Island it appears that we should not be so judgmental about the likes of Barnacle Geese in Cheshire and, following the record listed below perhaps we should be a little more open-minded.
Over the years several singletons and small flocks have been seen on or over the Mersey Marshes and often dismissed as feral or escapees. When 2 adult and 3 juvenile Barnacle Goose were present on Hale Marsh on 28th November 2011 the two adults were colour ringed and were identified to be birds ringed in the Svalbard archipelago (Norway).
Interesting that our ubiquitous Canada Geese grazing out on the marshes in the winter obviously contain a variety of mixed parentage species. Every so often they are confirmed to attract some truly Wild Arctic species.