Throughout the year it is possible to witness several amazing spectacles of nature at RSPB Scotland’s Loch Lomond reserve.

The undoubted highlight of the winter season is, however, the opportunity to see thousands of geese flying off early in the morning to feed or coming into roost at dusk.

The geese start arriving at the loch in October and November every year as part of their annual migration from Iceland and Greenland and will be here until March.

The birds come to Scotland due to its relatively milder winter weather for feeding and roost on the water on the loch, safe from predators, or on flooded fields or ponds at night.

Emma Martinelli, community engagement officer at the Loch Lomond reserve, believes that the morning is the best time to see the geese in action.

She said: “It’s nice going out early in the morning before the sun comes up pre-dawn.

“The birds will hopefully be on the loch and its nice seeing them lift off in their thousands.

“It’s amazing to see them all flying together and it is really noisy. Recently I was out and a few hundred took off at a time over an hour and a half, flying in groups. That was very special.”

Amazingly, the same birds and family groups return every year to the Loch Lomond shore, along with their young from the year before.

In terms of numbers, the reserve gets up to 10,000 pink-footed geese, 2000 greylag and 250 to 300 Greenland white fronted geese and each species has a distinctive call, which allows those on the reserve to tell the difference between species when counting the birds.

Due to the high numbers of geese, particularly Greenland white fronted geese, conservation is, unsurprisingly, an important part of the RSPB’S work at the reserve.

Emma added: “We sometimes get satellite tagged geese here.

“They are tagged by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and the kind of information we get from these tagged geese is so valuable because it can show us where they prefer to feed and roost.

“Since Greenland white-fronts are in massive decline. There are less than 18,000 in the world and on the red list for conservation concern, anything we can learn about their habits in order to maintain good areas for them is so important.

“We know that these geese are also easily disturbed so monitoring areas where they spend time for disturbance is also an important part of the work we do to protect them.

“We’ve noticed the difference grassland management has on the feeding areas for geese.

“The field outside our office is a great example of this.

“This winter we’ve seen four types of geese feeding there.”