Leigh Community Centre

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Brent Geese - Bird Watch

Leigh Town Council welcomes the Brent Geese.

Join Leigh-on-Sea Town Council and the RSPB on Strand Wharf on Sunday 14thOctober, 11am – 4pm, as we celebrate the impressive migration of the brent geese.  

The Thames Estuary is one of the best places in the country to see the UK`s smallest goose in large numbers, attracting 10,000 geese from a population of roughly 100,000.  They arrive from their breeding ground  in northern Russia and  Siberia to feed on the eel grass found along the coastline and recently have moved onto cultivated fields to feed on crops such as wheat, oilseed rape and barley.  

The Town Council are working with the RSPB who will provide telescropes and binoculars to visitors and their volunteers are on hand to provide expert knowledge throughout the day. Adding to the event, local artists are kindly offering live sketch demonstrations and mini workshops for anyone interested in wildlife sketches.  Whether you are a novice or skilled artist, this is an opportunity to capture something new, interact with like-minded wildlife lovers and artists. Visitors can also enjoy various environmental stalls and photography exhibitions throughout the day. 

Strand Wharf is the perfect setting to view the geese as well as other wildlife.  Leigh-on-sea provides great views of wintering waders including dunlin, little egrets and redshanks but don’t just focus on the birds as there is also a chance to catch a view of common seals.  

There are three races of goose that visits the UK and Ireland, one race of dark- bellied and two races of pale- bellied.  It is the dark-bellied that travels from Russia and Siberia to the Essex coast, the other two races being from Greenland and Spitsbergen and can be found mainly in Ireland.

The brent goose doesn't breed in the UK and only has about 100 days in the Arctic in order to rear a family meaning bad weather or an early winter can have an impact on numbers.  Families migrate together and remain together until the following breeding season.  The geese have one of the most energetically costly migrations of any waterfowl species, travelling the 8000km between breeding and wintering grounds with some flights involving 3000km of nonstop flying.

It really is a sight to behold and something special to our lovely town which we want to celebrate.

This is a free event.

As part of their usual events calendar, The RSPB will also pitch up with their telescopes in the Old Town at other dates throughout September/October, please see their website for further details:  https://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/

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