Castle Espie by Sally Beeby (Form 1)

A pale-bellied brent goose

We went to Castle Espie on our Form I Science trip on the 9th October 2008. It was really cold and raining so everyone was wrapped up in hoodies and coats. First we went into a big room to watch a slide show about wild fowl.The lady who was taking us asked a few questions about the slide show, and then she took us to see some of the ducks and geese.

We got to feed all the ducks and geese, and they ate really quickly.We then walked up to a hide where we looked out on some of the birds on the mud flats. There were big windows all around so that we could see all of the birds.

Then two people from Iceland told us how brent geese migrate from Ireland to Iceland, and then on to their breeding grounds in Greenland and Canada.The name brent goose comes from their scientific name Branta bernicla. The brent goose is a small goose with a small beak. Their tail is short and black, and is the shortest of any goose.

At Castle Espie we saw lots of brent geese, and we learnt that they migrate almost 3,000 miles from Greenland and Canada to Ireland. This is one of the longest migrations. There are about 30,000 light bellied brent geese in Strangford Lough. They migrate in family groups, mainly flying at night, in a v-shape.


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