BIRD-WATCHERS in Helensburgh and the surrounding area can enjoy the spectacular sight of wintering geese at a guided early morning walk this weekend.

The RSPB is hosting the event at its Loch Lomond reserve, at High Wards farm near Gartocharn, this Sunday, February 2.

It’s a chance to join the RSPB’s experts for a walk to one of the favourite roosting spots for the geese which make the bonnie banks their winter home.

Loch Lomond is a particular favourite spot for skeins of pink-footed and Greenland white-fronted geese between October and March every year.

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The former, smaller than a mute swan but bigger than a mallard, is pinkish-grey in colour, with a dark head and neck, and a pink bill, feet and legs; pink-footed geese don’t breed in the UK, but arrive here in large numbers every winter from breeding grounds in Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland.

Similar in size to their pink-footed cousins, Greenland white-fronted geese do not breed in the UK, but fly south for the winter from Greenland and Siberia.

They are grey in colour, and adults have a large and easily identifiable white patch at the front of the head, around the beak, orange bills, and bold black bars on the belly.

As the sun comes up, you’ll be able to watch as the geese move on to their daytime feeding areas.

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This Sunday’s walk begins at 7am and will last until approximately 9.30am, and costs £8.50 per participant – though the price drops to £7 if you’re already a member of the RSPB.

If you’re interested in taking part, please wear suitable outdoor clothing and footwear, and bring torches and binoculars if you have them.

Some of this Sunday’s event will involve standing for periods of time, so if you are taking part, remember to wrap up well.

Booking is essential – call the reserve on 01389 830670 or email to be sure of your place.

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