Brant

Branta bernicla
Anatidae

Male and female have the same elegant plumage
About same size as Mallard
Usually paired for life
Banded individuals provide travel information
Nest with 3 to 5 eggs far from water
Defending nest from intruder
Newly hatched goslings in down-lined nest
Gosling with pink remnant of egg tooth
Goslings leave nest with parent after a day
Goslings are mobile shortly after hatching
Goslings are vegetarian like parents
Juvenile not quite as elegant as parents yet
Family travels together
Feeding on sea lettuce in North Cove
Brant families stay intact on wintering ground
Large winter rafts consist of families, pairs, and singles

The Brant is a small goose somewhat larger than a herring gull.  The hundreds that arrive each fall will have flown thousands of miles from their breeding grounds somewhere in the wet coastal tundra of Alaska and Canada.  They feed on aquatic plants such as sea lettuce as well as aquatic insects, mollusks and worms. 

Should you only see a few of them in either North or South Cove, just look a bit further because there are bound to be many others in the vicinity.  In particular, they like to congregate amongst the rocky islets at the southern end of Rock Island.  Unlike the other water fowl that winter in the coves of Salter Grove, the rafts of Brant can be quite noisy.  At a distance they can sound like a social gathering of humans having very animated conversations.