Country Corner


All the way from Iceland to the Lothians,our annual visit of wild geese and swans is a calendar mark in the countryman’s year.

From October to April we can expect to see grazing and gleaning herds of Whooper Swans in their favourite fields.

Meanwhile, the sight and wonderful sound of great chevrons of commuting Pink Footed Geese stitch our skies as they move between coastal bays, reservoirs and fields.

Once familiar with the tinkling water sound of Pinkfeet, you may realise that some passing skiens have a different sound.

These may be Greylag Geese also from Iceland or Barnacle Geese from Svalvard. However, it is the Pinkfoots we look upon as our fellow Lothian natives, even if only for half the year.

As for the mighty and graceful Whoopers, their mournful bugling echoing across winter’s damp grey fieldscape is as wild a call as you will ever hear.

The oldest of these long lived birds possess more air miles than most international travellers will ever accrue.

They have made their annual pilgrimage over ice strewn North Atlantic waters time without number.

Each pair has a favourite patch of bleak tundra where they will try to rear a family despite the attentions of Arctic Fox and Skua.