Record numbers of geese descend on Montrose Basin

a record number of pink-footed geese have been spotted at Montrose Basin this year
a record number of pink-footed geese have been spotted at Montrose Basin this year

A record number of pink-footed geese flocked to Montrose Basin this year.

On average, 60,000 pink-footed geese each year descend on Montrose Basin, where they spend the winter months after making a colossal 1,200 kilometre migration from Greenland and Iceland.

However, his year, a staggering 70,153 geese have been recorded in the latest count at the Basin, beating the previous record of 65,060 which was set in 2010.

These counts are undertaken in the early hours of the morning by Montrose Basin ranger, Anna Cheshire, and a group of dedicated volunteers.

Regional Visitor Centre manager for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Caroline Hendry, said: “The news that there are more than 70,000 geese at Montrose Basin is truly exceptional.

“Seeing these amazing creatures en masse is breathtaking for anyone lucky enough to witness it.

“This is not just something for diehard wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy because it is absolutely breathtaking to see.

“The Scottish Wildlife Trust would urge people to come to Montrose Basin Visitor Centre before the geese leave.”

Around 372,000 pink-footed geese spend the winter in the UK, roughly 90 per cent of the world’s population.

There are plenty of opportunities for members of the public to see the birds at Montrose Basin, although dawn is the optimum viewing time.

Until the end of October, the Scottish Wildlife Trust Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is open daily 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. A special event, the People’s Postcode Lottery Goose Breakfast, is being held on Sunday, October 26, from 6.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and gives visitors a chance to get closer to the action.

Caroline said: ”This is Montrose Basin’s most spectacular event of the year. It is a brilliant opportunity to find out more about the behaviour of the geese from our team of experts and volunteers.”

Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, Clara Govier, said: “We are delighted that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting these wonderful events, and that we are able to witness such an incredible number of geese this year.”

After seeing the geese, visitors will be brought back to the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre for breakfast and refreshments.

Booking is essential for this popular event, to book or for more details, please contact Emma Castle-Smith on or call 01674 676336.