Wild Svalbard Barnacle Geese migrate 3000km from Svalbard Island in the High Arctic to winter on Scotland’s Solway Firth, with thousands feeding at WWT’s Caerlaverock Wetland Centre. These magnificent animals may fly the entire distance in two days.
At Martin Mere a small wintering flock of around 50 – 70 Barnacle Geese have just arrived. The question is, are these new visitors even more epic migrators than our Pink-feet and Whoopers who have flown the 800km from Iceland?
No these geese have made their extraordinary migration all the way from Knowsley in Liverpool, which is around 20 – 25km from Martin Mere. They are a feral flock (descended from captive birds) but they seem to have kept the urge to migrate. If you’re lucky you will see these feral Barnacle Geese which are just as striking as their wild cousins, joined by another feral Red-Breasted Goose (sorry it’s not a wild one).
More details of the awesome migration of the wild Svalbard Barnacle Geese can be found on our website.
The current weather is dominated by south westerly winds. These mild conditions have seemingly put migration on hold, with Whooper numbers levelling out at 800 for the last couple of days and the Pink- feet staying at a constant 15-16000. Hopefully the rumours of a cold snap coming our way, will drag in the rest of the wildfowl. Who knows, maybe a rare bird or two to join the Knowlsley Barnacles.
Click here to take a look at what I got upto on the morning of my birthday.