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Pink footed geese at Martin Mere, UK

Pink footed goose

Pink footed goose

WWT and especially, WWT Martin Mere has a long history with the Icelandic Pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrynchus). These geese spend their summers breeding in the highlands of Iceland. However as the weather deteriorates and day lengths draw in, the geese leave their tundra oasis, to find winter refuge in the UK.

Every year the geese arrive en-mass here in the UK and WWT Martin Mere is one of the best places to see them, with close to 50,000 arriving to roost during their migration. It truly is one of the best wildlife spectacles in the UK. This spectacle is not just to be in awe off, it also allows us to study the birds to help analyse this years breeding success.

One of the monitoring tasks we set our selves is to age assess the pink footed geese. To do this we have to identify the adults, juvenile and brood sizes. Large numbers of juveniles and large brood sizes would show a good breeding season which would hopefully correspond to larger flock sizes. However this summer, there has been late snows and cold snaps in Iceland. Early monitoring suggests smaller than average brood sizes. Further monitoring will reveal more over the winter months.

For more information contact Tom Clare, Reserves Manager, WWT Martin mere

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