It might have been a cold and early start but honestly, it was such a wonderful morning. We got really lucky: before long, the dark gloom lifted to reveal a glorious bright pink sunrise. As wildlife media students, the reason behind our visit was to learn more about the migration of barnacle geese but we also took the opportunity to practise some camera work.
Barnacle geese flock
It was lovely to be able to learn more about the importance of saltmarshes for wildlife and how plants become more specialised the saltier the water gets. I definitely learnt some fascinating things from the wardens, including a quite comical method to help better hear the geese when they were still far out on the mudflats where they roost. By cupping your hands around your ears you really amplify the “honking” sound they make. You also look like you are doing a really bad impression of an elephant. Great fun.
Goldcrest amongst the reeds
After watching the geese fly into the fields to begin their day of feasting, we spent time walking around the bird hides. There was so much to see: a hare running along one of the paths, a goldcrest flitting around in the reeds and there was even a friendly house sparrow sitting on the roof of the café! The list goes on... I took so many photos that my camera battery died!
Words and pictures by Nathan Greening, University of Cumbria