Black Brant Hybrid or Dark-bellied Brent Geese - Canvey Island, Essex 15th December 2013
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Black Brant or hybrid Dark-bellied Brent Goose x Black Brant or just a sooty looking Brent?, Canvey Island, Essex 15th December 2013 

A little more obvious than the first bird but it still doesn't stand out from the crowd. As with the previous bird the upper-breast is significantly darker than that seen on Dark-bellied Brent Goose. The upper-parts are also darker thus the flank patch stands out, but again not the bright white flash of typical birds as well as perhaps dark enough.

The neck collar is exceptionally broad; white triangular boarder with white flecking within the boarder and meets on the throat.

Overly the bird was a little larger than the Dark-bellied Brent Geese  with slightly stockier neck, slightly bulging lower neck and slightly more angular head but this is perhaps subjective to what image is being looked at in the below.

Pure or hybrid or even just sooty look Dark-bellied Brent masquerading as something else?. Series of images of this bird follow. I'm not convinced in any camp but may be leaning towards a hybrid bird.

To differentiate from the first bird move your mouse of the image.
Black Brant or hybrid Dark-bellied Brent Goose x Black Brant or just a sooty looking Brent?, Canvey Island, Essex 15th Dec 2013
Went looking for reported Black Brant and could only locate two less than obvious individuals.

The second of the two was a little more obvious but was still often a little tricky to pick out amongst the Brent flock where typical Black Brants would have stood out like a sore thumb.

So the question here is are these birds Black Brants or hybrids or even just sooty look Dark-bellied Brent masquerading as something else?

So first below was the less obvious bird of the two. Here the breast is darker than that seen on the Dark-bellied Brent Goose to its right but I would have expected less contrasting to the black neck in a pure Brant. The dusky quality extends unto the belly and to just behind the legs and rear flanks. The upper-parts are also darker that Dark-bellied Brent but also not as dark as to be expected on a Brant. The neck is a little thicker and the head is a little squarer.

The flank patch is more obvious than on typical Dark-bellied Brent Goose due to the darker upper-parts, dusky breast and under belly but not as shining white as would typically be expected.

To differentiate from the second bird move your mouse of the image.