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Geese out in unprecedented numbers on the Solway

Goose guides have confirmed that the cold weather has pushed unprecedented numbers of pink-footed geese on to the Solway Firth.

It is believed that the birds are moving away from roosts in the north-west of Scotland where fields are covered in snow.

Solway goose guide David Campbell described the number of geese as ?abnormal?, and said that the weather had ?pushed really big numbers of pinks into the area.?

?We haven’t had it as bad as up north and on the east coast,? he said.

?Normally at this time of year, geese are pushed down by the colder weather up north, but because of this extreme weather, we?ve seen even more this time. Up until last week we didn?t have much snow here, perhaps only 1in, so the geese were getting through to the grass okay. We had 1.1/2in recently though, so I think they?ll struggle now.?

Shooters have been asked to exercise voluntary restraint, and Mr Campbell said: ?We?re still going out, but we?re only taking ones and twos. If you?re on the foreshore, 90% of the birds are still too high, anyway. We went out yesterday and got one each. By and large, most people haven?t been going overboard by any means.?

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust recorded at least 42,500 pinkfeet coming off roosts off Caerlaverock last week.

A spokesman said: ?It?s likely they?ve come west from the Moray Firth, Vane Farm and Slamannan Plateau, as the snow has covered over the fields, making it impossible for them to feed.?

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