Monday, 27 September 2010

Strangford Lough's Brent Geese

As the terns leave the lough, so the brent geese return..

My first sighting of Strangford's pale-bellied brent geese was three weeks ago, and those advance parties of a few birds have now become a daily stream, as ever-larger flocks come in from their arctic breeding grounds to the North.

An hour ago, a large flock landed to graze the new grass on the other side of the sound, and Eddie watched and listened as they worked their noisy way over the hill and out of sight.

Over three-quarters of the European population of brent geese over-winters on Strangford Lough, and while most head to the mudflats further North, where the pickings are rich, I'm glad to say a dozen or more have made Pawle Sound (behind Islandmore to the east) their winter base for some years, and I can look forward to dusk encounters in the dinghy in the coming months.

Shortens the winter.

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