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A Photo of Dark-bellied Brent Geese on the shoreline, Exe Estuary

These charming monochromatic birds spend their breeding season on the boggy arctic tundra of northern Siberia. It’s in this unforgiving environment that dark-bellied brents nest and raise their young for the first weeks of their vulnerable lives.

The climate is so severe that there is a mere 2 month window of fair weather before the returning cold triggers the need to leave, and an incredible migration begins. It’s a sharp learning curve for the juveniles.

Their 3000 mile flight takes them south and west, following the migratory super-highway down the Baltic coast. The journey is broken by familiar rest stops; marshland, coastal grassland or suitable farmland on which to roost and feed.

In places where the grazing is good they may linger a while, before pushing on for their final destination: the estuaries and wetlands of our coast. The entire journey takes no more than a matter of weeks. To hear the burbling of Brents, why not have a listen to the tweet of the day

Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 5: the Red List for Birds (2021). Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.