Friday, 4 November 2016

Winter Visitors

Pink footed geese at Martin Mere
The migrants are on the move - two-footed, pink-footed and with feathers. These Pink-footed geese flew in from Iceland and stopped over for a few days in Lancashire, at the Martin Mere WWT reserve. They stay for a rest and to recoup their energies, then usually head off to reserves on the east side of the country.

I was fortunate to see literally thousands of them coming into land at dusk on the main lake at Martin Mere. It's a spectacular sight, and sound - their honking as they fly in fills the air and they fly in long skeins or v-shaped formations. Watching the constant activity and movement in the skies becomes mesmeric. 

Before long, the annual influx of whooper swans will be arriving from Iceland, and they are equally spectacular to watch, especially as it gets dark and they are fed. By day they scour the surrounding fields for food, and farmers leave potaotes out for them to eat. But at dusk the wardens give them a regular feed and there's a jostling mass of swans, shelduck and several other kinds of waterbird tucked into the melee, tucking in for all they're worth!

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