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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 14:53 GMT
Race begins in wild goose chase
A wild goose
Goose spotting is at the centre of the month-long event
A "wild goose chase" which challenges people to spot six different species of the bird has got under way.

It is estimated that there can be as many as 50,000 wild geese in Dumfries and Galloway at any one time.

Visitors to the region are now being encouraged to come and view the range of different varieties.

The event, which runs throughout March, centres on the Wigtown Bay reserve but also includes sites at Caerlaverock, Mersehead, Loch Ken and Loch Ryan.

Every year - from September until early May - the region plays host to thousands of geese escaping the Arctic winter.

THE SIX SPECIES TO BE SPOTTED IN THE CHALLENGE
Pink-footed
Greylag
Greenland white-fronted
Barnacle
Brent
Canada

They join the resident bird population in the area.

Dumfries and Galloway is seen as an ideal place for the birds in winter with its mild climate and safe roosting spots along sandbanks.

Viewing sites across the region are involved in the goose chase, with spotters encouraged to complete the challenge in the month of March.

"If you visit each location, you have a good chance of seeing all the six species that overwinter here," says a brochure for the event.

"Just remember, our geese are wild, they may not co-operate, we can give you no guarantee!"

The event has been supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council as part of attempts to promote environmental tourism in the area.


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SEE ALSO
Goose smashes sea-crossing record
25 May 07 |  South of Scotland
Godzilla the goose in speedy feat
20 Apr 07 |  South of Scotland
Wild geese flocking to Scotland
23 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Rare birds flock to reserve
28 Dec 02 |  Scotland

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