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Just across the mouth of the Slaney River from me here in Wexford is the feeding ground of a colony of Greenland White-fronted Geese. About 12,000 of them arrive here in October/November after a treacherous 15 hour flight via Iceland and stay until April.

The Greenland White-fronted Goose, is a subspecies of the Greater White-fronted Goose, and is one of Europe’s rarest geese. The movement of thousands of these birds en masse against a crimson sky is quite a spectacle.

They graze on a range of plant material such as roots, tubers, shoots and leaves and on grasses such as clover, spilt grain, winter wheat and potatoes.

Having spent the winter resting and replenishing their stores of body fat here on the Wexford slob-lands, by April they are in excellent condition to make their return journey to their breeding grounds.