Birdwatchers gather in Betsukai to observe Brent geese flying in to Notsuke Bay

A gaggle of geese head to the open sea to their place of sleep

Brent geese, a ‘natural monument of Japan’ are gathering in Notsuke Bay in the town of Betsukai in Eastern Hokkaido, which is known as a stopover point for migrating birds. At an observation meetup jointly held by Notsuke Peninsula Nature Club and Betsukai Town Folk Museum on the evening of November 29, families gathered to watch the actions of Brent geese as they entered their places of sleep.
  Brent geese are prescribed as endangered species in the Ministry of the Environment’s Red Data Book. Between early October and late December when Notsuke Bay begins to freeze, the birds fly in from their breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle en-route to wintering grounds in Southern Hokkaido, the Tohoku region of Honshu, as well as China, Korea and the like. It is said that almost all the 8,000-plus population of geese that winter in Eastern Asia fly in to Notsuke Bay, where 4 to 5 thousand birds remain until late November. The observation meetup was planned in order to observe the Brent geese as they head in gaggles to their sleeping place on the open before dusk. On this day, 18 people from Nakashibetsu, Betsukai and the like took part in the meetup. While walking to the tip of Notsuke Peninsula, participants discovered a Brent goose fitted with a yellow ‘No. 47’ ankle ring, raising the question of its place of origin as they peered into binoculars.

Brent geese resting their wings in the shallow water
A Brent goose wearing a yellow ankle ring


Notsuke Bay