About me

I am a wildfowl biologist with a background in monitoring, research and reserve management. Much of my work has focussed on migratory studies of geese and ducks, but I also spent ten years managing wetland reserves. I have a broad interest in ecology, behaviour and demography using research to inform conservation and management of wildfowl. I worked for RSPB in 1984-1987 (and again in 2002-2008) and for WWT since 1987.


Out-posted Principal Research Officer working from home in Scotland. Current research projects include telemetry studies of Iceland/Greenland Pink-footed, Taiga Bean and Greenland White-fronted Geese with the broad aims of documenting life-history traits of declining species of conservation concern and their response to industrial infrastructure developments such as wind turbines. I am also involved in researching the factors affecting the decline in the Scottish breeding population of Common Scoter and support the Goose & Swan Monitoring Programme.


Licensed cannon-netter (over 240 successful catches) and A ringer since 1989. Experienced at complex project management and I dabble with GIS, ‘R’, policy and website design. I have secured external funding for nearly all the work that I have carried out for WWT.


Mitchell, C., Griffin, L., Maciver, A, Minshull, B. & Mckan, N. (2016). Migration routes, stop-over locations and breeding area of Taiga Bean Geese Anser fabalis fabalis wintering in central Scotland. Bird Study 63: 437-446

Mitchell, C., Cranswick, P., Kharitonov, S., Mitev, D., Quinn, J., Rozenfeld, S., Swann, B. & Vangeluwe, D. (2015). Biometrics of Red-breasted Geese Branta ruficollis. Wildfowl 65:154-165

Fox, A.D., Walsh, A.J, Weegman, M.D., Bearhop, S. & Mitchell, C. (2014) Spring ice formation on goose neck collars: effects on body condition and survival in Greenland white-fronted geese Anser albifrons flavirostris. European Journal of Wildlife Research 60: 831-834

Guillemain, M., Pöysä, H., Fox, A.D., Arzel, C., Dessborn, L., Ekroos, J., Gunnarsson, G., Holm, T.E., Christensen, T.K., Lehikoinen, A., Mitchell, C., Rintala, J. & Moller, A.P. (2013). Effects of climate change on European ducks: what do we know and what do we need to know. Wildlife Biology 19: 404-419

Madsen, J., Tjørnløv, R.S., Frederiksen, M., Mitchell, C. & Sigfússon, A. (2013). Connectivity between flyway populations of waterbirds: assessment of rates of exchange, their causes and consequences. Journal of Applied Ecology 51(1): 183-193

Mitchell, C., Hearn, R. & Stroud, D.A (2012) The merging of populations of Greylag Geese breeding in Britain. British Birds 105: 498-505

Harvey, P.V., Mitchell, C., Pennington. M.G., Okill, J.D. & Ellis, P. (2012) The status of the Greylag Goose in Shetland. Scottish Birds 32(3):195-203

Fox, A.D., Mitchell, C., Weegman, M., Griffin, L., Thomas, H., Stroud, I. & Francis, I. (2011) Potential factors influencing increasing numbers of Canada Geese Branta canadensis in west Greenland. Wildfowl 61: 30-44

Mitchell, C., Griffin, L., Trinder, M., Newth, J. & Urquhart, C. (2011) The status and distribution of summering Greylag Geese in Scotland, 2008/09. Bird Study 58: 338-348

Mitchell, C., Colhoun, K., Fox, A.D., Griffin, L., Hall, C., Hearn, R., Holt, C. & Walsh, A. (2010) Trends in goose numbers wintering in Britain & Ireland, 1995 to 2008. Ornis Svecica 20: 128-143

Fox, A.D., Ebbinge, B.S., Mitchell, C., Heinicke, T., Aarvak, T., Colhoun, K., Clausen, P., Dereliev, S., Farago, S., Koffijberg, K., Kruckenberg, H., Loonen, M., Madsen, J., Mooij, J., Musil, P., Nilsson, L., Pihl, S. & Van derJeugd, H. (2010) Current estimates of goose population sizes in the western Palearctic, a gap analysis and an assessment of trends. Ornis Svecica 20: 115-127

Trinder, M., Mitchell, C., Swann, R.L. & Urquhart, C. (2010) Status and population viability of Icelandic Greylag Geese Anser anser in Scotland. Wildfowl 60: 64-84

Mitchell, C., Street, L., Moore, P. & Prescott, T. (2009) Changes in the numbers of breeding waders on wetlands and farmland in Badenoch & Strathspey, between 2000 and 2005. Scottish Birds 29(3): 195-201

Mitchell, C., Hall, C. & Douse, A. (2009) Greenland Barnacle Geese in Scotland in 2008. Scottish Birds 29(2): 99-110

Bowler, J., Mitchell, C., Broad, R., Leitch, A. & Stroud, D. (2008) Wintering wader surveys on the Isle of Tiree, Argyll. Scottish Birds 28:32-41

Mitchell, C. & Trinder, M. (2008) On reading colour rings. Ringing & Migration 24:11-14

Mitchell, C., Hughes, B. & Cross, A.V. (2008) Goosander broods on the River Wye, 1990-2000 and a summary of Welsh ringing returns. Welsh Birds Vol 5, 4:268-275

Mitchell, C., Fox, A.D., Harradine, J. & Clausager, I. (2008) Measures of annual productivity in Eurasian Wigeon. Bird Study 55: 43-51

Swann, R.L., Brockway, I.K., Frederiksen, M., Hearn, R., Mitchell, C. & Sigfússon, A. (2005) Within-winter movements and site fidelity of Icelandic Greylag Geese Anser anser. Bird Study 52: 25-36

Bowler, J., Mitchell, C. & Leitch, A. (2005) Greylag Geese Anser anser on Tiree and Coll: status, habitat use and movements. Waterbirds 28: 61-70

Frederiksen, M., Hearn, R., Mitchell, C., Sigfússon, A., Swann, R.L. & Fox, A.D. (2004) The dynamics of hunted Icelandic goose populations: a reassessment of the evidence. Journal of Applied Ecology 41: 315-334

Mitchell, C., Patterson, D., Boyer, P., Cunningham, P., McDonald, R., Meek, E., Okill, J.D. & Symonds, F. (2000). The summer status and distribution of Greylag Geese in north and west Scotland. Scottish Birds 21:69-77

Fox, A.D., Einarsson, Ó., Hilmarsson, J.O., Boyd, H. & Mitchell, C. (2000) Viðdvöl heiðagæsa á Suðurlandi að vori (spring staging by Pink-footed Geese in southern Iceland). Bliki 20: 11-20

Fox, A.D., Hilmarsson, J.O. et al., (1999) Phenology and distribution of Greenland White-fronted Geese Anser albifrons flavirostris staging in Iceland. Wildfowl 50: 29-43

Fox, A.D., Kahlert, J. Walsh, A., Stroud, D.A., Mitchell, C., Kristiansen, J.N. & Hansen, E.B. (1998). Patterns of body mass change during moult of three different goose populations. Wildfowl 49: 45-56

Mitchell, C. (1997) Re-mating in migratory Wigeon Anas penelope. Ardea 85: 275-277

Fox, A.D., Mitchell, C., Henriksen, G., Lund, E. & Frantzen, B. (1997) The conservation of Steller’s Eider Polysticta stelleri in Finnmark, Norway. Wildfowl 48: 156-165

Fox, A.D. & Mitchell, C. (1997) Spring habitat use and feeding behaviour of Steller's Eider Polysticta stelleri in Varangerfjord, northern Norway. Ibis 139: 542-548

Fox, A.D. & Mitchell, C. (1997) Rafting behaviour and predator disturbance to Steller's Eiders Polysticta stelleri in Northern Norway. Journal für Ornithologie 138: 103-109

Fox, A.D., Glahder, C., Mitchell, C., Stroud, D., Boyd, H. & Frikke, J. (1996) North American Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) in West Greenland. The Auk 113(1): 231-233

Fox, A.D., Mitchell, C., Stewart, A., Fletcher, J.D., Turner, J.V.N., Boyd, H., Shimmings, P., Salmon, D.G., Haines, W.G. & Tomlinson, C. (1994) Winter movements and site-fidelity of Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus ringed in Britain, with particular emphasis on those marked in Lancashire. Bird Study 41:221-234

Kirkby, J. & Mitchell, C. (1993) Distribution and status of wintering Shovelers Anas clypeata in Great Britain. Bird Study 40: 170 -180

Stott, T. & Mitchell, C. (1991) Orielton Decoy. Field Studies 7: 759-769

Mitchell, C., Black, J.M., Owen, M., and West, J. (1988) On renesting in semi-captive Barnacle Geese. Wildfowl 39: 133-136

Fox, A.D. & Mitchell, C. (1988) Migration and seasonal distribution of Gadwall from Britain and Ireland: a preliminary assessment. Wildfowl 39: 145-152

Owen, M. & Mitchell, C. (1988) Movements and migrations of Wigeon Anas penelope wintering in Britain and Ireland. Bird Study 35: 47-59.