Apparently first seen on the afternoon of September 8th by Sarah Walker. Eric Rasmussen also independently reported it on the 9th, I had it again n the 10th, and a few other birders have seen it through at least September 12th.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Sandpoint City Beach, Bonner County
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Sandy beach and adjacent park with manicured lawn on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I watched it for 15-20 minutes at distances as close as ~15-20 feet, I was easily able to walk around to it's south side for best lighting. Mostly clear day with a (very reduced) bit of smoke.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
I looked in Sibley (1st Edition) later the same day to double check that it was indeed a "Black" Brant and not some other race.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
I took no notes in the field, sorry, but see attached photos. I did look carefully for bands or signs of domesticity and saw none .
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
When I arrived at City Beach for the second time of the day, I almost immediately located a flock of geese and gulls being fed bread. My eye was drawn to a very small goose on the perimeter of the flock, and it was the Brant. A woman continued to feed the flock and the Brant was very approachable (just as all the birds in the flock were) despite frequent squabbles with gulls and Canada Geese. The Brant also spent a lot of time eating grass. On the 10th, there was no bread, and the Brant was just eating grass in the lawn east of Best Western.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I've seen these occasionally on the west coast (Washington and California) and a vagrant in southern Nevada. I've seen Pale-bellied Brant once.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
~17 years of near-daily birding, overwhelmingly throughout the western U.S. Term-limited former member of Nevada Bird Records Committee, eBird reviewer for 5 counties in Nevada and Idaho, and PhD student studying wildlife and avian ecology at the University of Idaho.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description and photos conclusive.
excellent photos confirm the identification
Clearly a Brant (Branta bernicla) from the excellent, diagnostic photos. However, I think it may be from the “Dark-bellied”, or “Intermediate” population (B.b. bernicla) based on the apparent sharp contrast, though be it very slight, between the breast and belly, the brownish covert and mantle feathers, as well as the relatively narrow white “neckless” at the front of the neck.
Believe this bird is probably of wild origin as this species does wander, and this subspecies being the most likely in North Idaho, but could be swayed by other opinions in the next round. My only pause with natural occurrence is the apparent tame behavior exhibited by this bird that could indicate domestic origin.