October 7 2019, 2.36pm
More than 55,000 pink-footed geese have descended on an Angus reserve as part of “Scotland’s biggest nature spectacle”.
Droves of the birds have taken up their winter residences at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve.
They have flown about 750 miles (1,200km) from their summer breeding grounds in Greenland and Iceland.
The latest count revealed there are now at least 55,326 of the birds – up by more than 5,000 since September – with numbers still increasing.
Anna Cowie, the Trust’s Montrose Basin ranger, said: “Montrose Basin Wildlife Reserve is an internationally-important habitat for pink-footed geese.
“These birds are one of the heralds of autumn, and we’ve been pleased to see so many people flocking to the basin at dawn and dusk to take in the spectacle.
“This has been a very unusual season with birds arriving from Iceland much earlier than in recent years. It’s impossible to say when numbers will peak.”
The “pinkfeet” are thought to have arrived in numbers earlier this year due to snow in Iceland pushing them south quicker than usual.
The best time to see and hear large numbers is at dawn and dusk.
During the day, most of the geese head out to find food.