Autumn is finally upon us, bringing with it cool rain showers and slowly reddening leaves. Out on our coasts another iconic sign of the season is appearing: the arrival of over 125,000 ducks, geese, and wading birds that will call the Solent home for the winter.
The rich feeding grounds of our shorelines are irresistible to these feathered visitors, who spend their time here feasting on marine plants, crustaceans, and invertebrates. Some will settle in for several months, while others will stock up before moving on to the warmer climates of southern Europe and Africa.
The brent goose is both the smallest and the most coastal of our visiting geese. Head to sandy estuaries and saltmarshes at low tide to see them snacking on eelgrass and seaweed - they can have either dark or pale bellies, but are easily spotted by the white marks on their necks.