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Birds by name
Conservation status: Amber
The ancestor of most domestic geese, the greylag is the largest and bulkiest of the wild geese native to the UK and Europe. In many parts of the UK it has been re-established by releasing birds in suitable areas, but the resulting flocks (often mixed with Canada geese) found around gravel pits, lakes and reservoirs all year round in southern Britain tend to be semi-tame and uninspiring. The native birds and wintering flocks found in Scotland retain the special appeal of truly wild geese.
Swans, ducks and geese (Anatidae)
Greylag geese are easily seen in lowland areas of the UK all year, sometimes even in suburban parks with lakes but especially on low-lying grassy fields in river valleys. Wild ones, however, are found mostly north of the Solway and can be seen at RSPB nature reserves such as Mersehead (Dumfries & Galloway), Vane Farm (Fife) and Loch of Strathbeg (Grampian) from September to April. Wild breeding greylags can be found at Forsinard (Caithnes & Sutherland).
All year round in the south; mostly September to March or April where wild visitors appear in the north.
Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain
* UK breeding is the number of pairs breeding annually. UK wintering is the number of individuals present from October to March. UK passage is the number of individuals passing through on migration in spring and/or autumn.
Please note that the map is only intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
Patrik Aberg, Xeno-canto