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Birds Scared Away from Nature Reserve

It might not come as a great surprise to you to discover that some people don’t have the brains that they were born with! The latest evidence of this unfortunate fact is the recent departure of more than 40,000 birds from a nature reserve in Scotland. The pink-footed geese were scared into leaving because people have been letting off fireworks in the reserve!

The Montrose Basin

The Scottish Wildlife trust has reported that more than 90,000 pink-footed geese had been recorded at Montrose Basin in the week prior to the fireworks being let off. The birds travel 745 miles from Iceland and Greenland. The Montrose Basin is the first suitable roosting site that the geese encounter on their migration south for the winter.

Pink-footed Goose

The Pink-footed Goose is a medium sized goose which is pinkish grey with a dark head, a pink bill and pink legs. The birds spend the winter in the UK before returning north to their breeding grounds. The 90,000 geese were doubtless a wonderful site but then idiotic people let off fireworks and many of the birds immediately left the reserve. Following the incident only 42,840 of the geese were recorded as being present at the reserve.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust received several reports of fireworks being let off at Tayock which is within the nature reserve. Discarded fireworks were also found. One wonders what would possess anyone to conduct a firework display in a nature reserve. The pyrotechnics caused a serious disturbance which scared the roosting birds. The fireworks could also have represented a hazard to people who were visiting the area.

People are now being urged not to let off fireworks in or near nature reserves but these messages will probably fall on deaf ears.

Where to View Pink-footed Geese

The geese will shortly start to move on. The 40,000 birds that remain are an amazing sight and so the Montrose Basin is well worth a visit before numbers dwindle. The best times to view the birds are dawn and dusk. They will have moved on by mid-November.

If you can’t make it to Scotland to see the geese, then head for Norfolk as many thousands spend the winter there. Tens of thousands are to be seen in the north-west of the county and there are further flocks in the Thurne Valley. Hopefully nobody will be letting of fireworks there.


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