Last March, a family party of white-fronted geese spent a week on our marsh in Norfolk. I showed my photograph (above) to a birdwatching friend, who suggested that the birds might be Greenland whitefronts. What do you think?
I believe that your friend is correct. The Greenland race of white-fronted goose was first described by Peter Scott in 1948, and is quite distinct from the far more numerous Russian whitefronts. Greenland whitefronts (Anser albifrons flavirostris) are generally much darker than the Russian birds and have orange-yellow (as opposed to pink) bills. They are also slightly larger, longer necked and have bigger bills. The birds in your photograph fit this description well.
Most of the Greenland population winters in Ireland and the western islands of Scotland, particularly Islay, but wandering birds have been increasingly recorded on the east coast of England. This is probably due to more birdwatchers looking out for these geese, and having the skill to identify them correctly. DT