Brent Geese - Photo: Russel Savory
On Saturday 18th February we are hailing an Essex icon: the Brent Goose.
No other bird loves our county quite like the Dark-bellied Brent Goose: a quarter of the world’s population makes its home in Essex for the winter - monochrome beauties that carpet our coast, cloud our skies and fill the air with a carefree chunter.
‘Brent Goose Day’ celebrates those hordes - an estimated 30,000 birds join us every winter – and we are encouraging as many people as possible to get out and about to savour the ‘Brents’, before the birds leave, to begin an epic migration back to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.
Head out for a walk pretty much anyway along the Essex coast on Saturday 18 February and you will see Brent Geese, floating on the tide, feeding on the saltmarsh and fields, or flying along the coastline. There are numerous Essex Wildlife Trust estuary reserves where the birds can be very easy to see: Two Tree Island and Gunners Park on the Thames; Blue House Farm on the Crouch, Tollesbury Wick on the Blackwater; Fingringhoe Wick on the Colne; and Wrabness on the Stour, to name just some. Other good places to see the geese are West Mersea, Maldon and the Naze.
We would like people to get in touch with us on the weekend of Saturday 18th February via social media, to let us know where they have seen Brent Geese and share their videos and images of the birds. Follow us via:
Essex Wildlife Trust will have experts on hand at two of our reserves, to help people see the Brents: Blue House Farm (CM3 6NA) in south Essex and Fingringhoe Wick (CO5 7DN) near Colchester. There is no need to book – please just come along to either site any time between 10am-2pm, to join us to look for the geese and other wonderful winter wildlife.
To get you in the mood for ‘Brent Goose Day’, here’s a short video of the geese and other birds, enjoying the beautiful Blackwater Estuary in winter. Thank you to Russell Savory / www.russellsavory.com for the footage.