Barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) at Caerlaverock National Nature Reserve ©Lorne Gill/SNH.  For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or

Wintering geese

Geese from Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland visit Scotland in internationally important numbers every winter.

Impressive flocks of geese are one of Scotland’s most famous wildlife spectacles. But, in some areas, growing goose numbers have led to an increase in agricultural damage.

In Scotland, you can see:

  • Svalbard barnacle geese at Caerlaverock Wetland Centre
  • Greenland barnacle geese and Greenland white-fronted geese on Islay in the Inner Hebrides
  • large numbers of pink-footed geese at Montrose Basin, Loch of Strathbeg and Loch Leven National Nature Reserve
  • Duration

    Migrating pink-footed geese arriving at Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

Pink-footed geese in flight.


A skein of pink-footed geese above Loch Leven National Nature Reserve.

Protection of geese

Find out how Scotland’s wild birds are protected.

Learn about birds and licensing.