RSPB Scotland’s Allie McGregor shares some facts about the geese that come to roost in Scotland over the Autumn and Winter, and 5 great places you can see them.
Geese flock to Scottish shores
One of nature’s spectacular sights is the amazing flocks of geese that arrive in their thousands at this time of year. In Scotland, some of the species of geese you are most likely to see are pink-footed, barnacle, white-fronted, brent, Canada and greylag geese. Some of these have resident populations, but populations explode in winter!
Across Scotland there are plenty of beautiful places to see up to thousands of geese. Here are a few of them:
Loch Lomond (rspb-images.com)
Autumn winds bring many migrating birds to Loch Lomond looking for some refuge from an Arctic winter. Rise with the sun and take in the incredible views at Loch Lomond as skeins of geese head off to feed in the morning or wrap up warm for dusk to watch birds return to roost.
There are four species of geese found in the area; pinkies (pink-footed), white-fronted, greylag and Canada geese.
White-fronted geese at Loch Gruinart (rspb-images.com)
Islay sees geese return from Greenland in their thousands in autumn and winter. Barnacle geese have a particularly notable presence, with Loch Gruinart being one of their key hang-out spots. White-fronted geese are also plentiful across the island.
While we often think of some of our wildlife quietening down over winter, the geese ensure Loch Gruinart bursts into life.
The loch is frantic with activity as it fills with ducks, swans and of course; geese. Up to 20,000 pink-footed geese swoop in to Loch Leven from Iceland. The sight of thousands of birds taking off with the dawn is enough to take your breath away.
Barnacle geese on Coll (rspb-images.com)
The remote and quiet island of Coll sees numerous barnacle and white-fronted geese arrive as the weather gets colder. As well as the numbers that settle on Coll, many geese fly overhead as part of their journey elsewhere.
Coll is a special, peaceful place – the sounds of geese and other wildlife add to a magical atmosphere.
Loch of Strathbeg
Pink-footed geese at Loch of Strathbeg (rspb-images.com)
As Britain's largest dune loch, Strathbeg is a vital wintering and staging post for up to a fifth of the world's pink-footed geese! Huge flocks come in to roost here and the Loch bursts with life in autumn.
The Loch of Strathbeg is a stand out spot for anyone who shares a love of geese, plan a visit to be truly blown away.
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