Like places all over Scotland, we are noting the pink footed geese have returned after their summer in the far north of Iceland and Greenland. Across our NNRs, NatureScot staff are excitedly reporting the return of their ‘heralds of winter’ here and here. And on the Stirling NNRs we are just as pleased to see and hear them. At Flanders Moss yesterday there were small groups criss-crossing the sky, the vanguard of the masses that come later in autumn. These geese will provide the sound track of our winter with a constant background burble as the flocks feed in the fields, punctuated with occasional clamour as they lift off en masse and fly over. At Loch Lomond they use the reserve as a night time roost so their arrival means that it is soon to be goose roost count time – very early, cold mornings on the marsh watching the sunrise and the geese start their day.
When I think what the dark months would be like with no geese I release how much we look forward to hearing them and how lucky we are to be working places where they stay.