Record number of pinkfooted geese at Basin

Pinkfooted geese have arrived in Montrose
Pinkfooted geese have arrived in Montrose

Scottish Wildlife Trust revealed a record number of pink-footed geese have descended upon Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve.

On average, 60,000 birds spend the winter months at the Basin, after travelling 1,200 kilometres from Greenland and Iceland. This year, the charity has counted 78,970 birds, smashing the 2010 record of 65,060.

Around 372,000 pink-footed geese spend the winter in the UK, roughly 90 per cent of the world’s population.

There are plenty of opportunities for members of the public to see the birds, although dawn is the optimum viewing time. Until the end of October, the Scottish Wildlife Trust Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is open daily 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.. A special event, the People’s Postcode Lottery Goose Breakfast, is being held on Sunday, October 26, from 6.30 to 9.30 a.m. and gives visitors a chance to get closer to the action.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve Manager for the North East, Rab Potter, said: “The number of pink-footed geese at Montrose Basin this year has taken all of us by surprise. Currently, pink-footed geese outnumber people in Montrose by almost seven to one.

“The Scottish Wildlife Trust would recommend that anyone who has yet to see – and hear - the pink-footed geese do so as soon as possible. At the moment, there are pink-footed geese on Montrose Basin at all times of the day, which is a great opportunity for visitors, but it is very difficult to know how long they will stay in these numbers.“

Regional Visitor Centre Manager for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Caroline Hendry, said: “Seeing these amazing creatures en masse is breathtaking for anyone lucky enough to witness it. This is not just something for diehard wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy because it is absolutely breathtaking to see.

She added: “There is also the People’s Postcode Lottery Goose Breakfast event on Sunday, October 26.

“This is Montrose Basin’s most spectacular event of the year. It is a brilliant opportunity to find out more about the behaviour of the geese from our team of experts and volunteers.”

After seeing the geese, visitors will be brought back to the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre for breakfast and refreshments.

Booking is essential for this very popular event, to book or for more details, please contact Emma Castle-Smith on or call 01674 676336.