Embark on a wild goose chase

Embark on a wild goose chase


Posted 6th Oct 2017


Image courtesy of © Harry Bickerstaff

After a brief Arctic summer nesting on the open tundra of central Iceland, a pink-footed goose will move to open water, spending 25 days totally flightless, moulting her wing feathers in preparation for the great flight south

One mid-autumn day, the wind will set off in the right direction, with the cold starting to bite and the food beginning to run out, with her family by her side. She will take flight and head off into the North Atlantic. Six hours later, she makes landfall onto the Faero Islands, where the family will rest for a day before taking off again, this time aiming for Scotland.

She will arrive at Montrose Basin on the Angus coast the next day, and she won't be alone.

In October 2015, a record breaking 85,632 pink-footed geese were counted at Montrose Basin in large numbers during October and November before they moved on to other feeding grounds further south, in Lancashire and East Anglia.

How to do it

For the greatest spectacle, visit at dawn or dusk. Bring your binoculars and a flask of hot chocolate, with woollies and best gloves to keep you warm.

If you can't get to the special places listed below...

Pink-footed geese will move about a lot during the winter, with flocks flying from Scotland to Lancashire to Norfolk and back in a few days. Keep your eyes skywards, as a skein of high flying geese could well be pink-feet.

Special spots

Just minutes from the centre of Montrose, the tidal Montrose Basin in Angus plays host to one of the largest autumn gatherings of pink-footed geese in Scotland.

Lincolnshire, Gibraltar Point

Norfolk, Holme Dunes

Norfolk, Cley Marshes

Northumberland, East Chevington

Yorkshire, Spurn National Nature Reserve

Text and informatoin courtesy of the Wildlife Trusts





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