Sunday, 12 December 2010

Where have all the geese gone?!

A solitary Ringed Plover foraged among the rocks on the West Beach near The Nairn Golf Course early this afternoon.  I don't see too many of these around Nairn: if any more are out there please let me know.

As usual there was a small flock of Eider Ducks on the waves just off shore, among the Cormorants and Gulls.

Where do all the geese go when the snow comes?  The Pinkfoot have made their way from Iceland and Greenland to avoid the cold and snow, only to struggle to find grazing lands around Nairn after our early onset of winter.  Many pass through Nairn on their way down to the central belt and lowlands; some moving on to East Anglia in England.  But with the whole of the East Coast of England swathed on snow, where do they go?  Unfortunately I don't have the answer!  Are they still grazing on the farmlands around here?  If anyone knows, please let us all know.

One last point: I'm on the look out for Snow Buntings and Purple Sandpipers - both showing themselves around this time.  The former are sparrow sized buntings, with lots of white; abundant on the Cairngorms - many to be seen in the car park.  Last year they were all over gorse around the beach, and on the harbour wall.  The Purple Sandpipers are normally seen on the rocky shores of the West Beach.  These are small upstanding and dark birds, about half the size of a Redshank.  Again, please let me know when you see them.



  1. Many of the 2-3000 Pink-feet in Northumberland were displaced but only to the fields nearest to the coast where the snow cover was at its lightest.

  2. Cheers Alan. Now the snow has gone from around Nairn I have spotted a couple of flocks of circa 200 Pinkfoot in the field by the airport (near the firth), but no more of the large skeins filling the skies a few weeks ago. When we had the snow, it stayed for two weeks and covered all the regular feeding sites, right up to the coastline, where they normally roost. And there's more snow on the way...!

  3. have just heard some go overhead but have not seen them. the bird feeders are busy. i got a new one a few weeks ago but the birds do not seem to use it much. it was the same bird seed in both not sure why this is. asked in the shop but they were unable too say why this was. but gave me some sunflower seeds too try. still pretty much the same.strange

  4. Hi there. I too have heard a few small flocks overhead and have just noticed a field of geese by the airport. I suspect it was a mixed flock of Pink Foot and Brent Geese.

    As for your feeder: For some reason the birds favour feeder one over another. I suspect it is something to do with feeling of safety as well as the positioning. I try to put a new feeder in a good line of sight from a 'staging post', where the birds can observe how safe it is before heading for the feeder. If it is close to the other feeders it could be a bit crowded and put off potential birds. It might be an idea to put it in a different part of the garden altogether (if you have the space); this might attract different birds than the ones on the other feeder.

    Let me know how you get on.

  5. hi i will give that a try and let you know if it works. re the geese we saw them yesterday same place as you saw them they must be finding hard to find food with this snow about.

  6. hi moved the feeder and the birds are now using it so thanks for that. we went too inverness today and again lots of geese both sides of the road before the airport and again heard some tonight it did not sound like a lot of them

  7. Good news about the feeder - and the geese!