Have a gander at the geese at Strathbeg

Aberdeenshire is slowly turning into a pink-footed paradise thanks to the return of thousands of geese from Iceland.

There are currently more than 1,000 of the birds at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg and many more are expected, with previous years seeing 60,000 pink-footed geese arriving here by October.

The return of the species marks one of Scotland’s most spectacular wildlife events and provides visitors with the opportunity to witness something very special.

Every year around the beginning of September, family groups of pink-footed geese leave their summer breeding grounds in Iceland and make the arduous 800 mile journey to spend the winter in the UK.

“It’s fantastic to see the geese back here” said Diana Spencer, RSPB visitor and publicity officer at Loch of Strathbeg. “Along with the rarer visitors, pink-footed geese are flying in from the sea and numbers on the reserve are still climbing.

“As well as several thousand on the reserve itself there are lots in the area including some big flocks in the fields behind the ruined church at Rattray.

“The geese haven’t really settled in to their usual routine yet - leaving at dawn and returning at dusk - so it’s a great time to pop by the reserve.”