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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

How Close Should You Get To Geese? (1 Viewer)

AliCat

Member
United Kingdom
I am very fortunate to live beside Strangford Lough and every year we have up to 80% of the world's population of Pale-Bellied Brent Geese overwinter with us for 5 or 6 months a year. I have been down to take photos but worried at the time about startling them and if there was any sort of set rule about how close is safe to go, without upsetting them.

I'm totally new to birding & know little about 'safe distances' or if I really need to worry about geese becoming unsettled but I would love to get closer to get clearer photos of these magnificence birds. Getting so close they fly away seems 'unkind' - or am I being silly?

The photo below shows how far I stayed back and then a photo taken with 25x zoom so losing a lot of detail, which is what I would love to avoid in my photos.

Thank you for any advice!
 

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Sangahyando

Well-known member
Getting so close they fly away seems 'unkind' - or am I being silly?
You're not being silly, it's a legitimate concern. Unfortunately, sometimes geese are so close to public roads or footpath that it's impossible not to spook them if you want to pass through.
Generally speaking, I'd stick to the aforementioned public roads and footpaths. I know that sounds like a lazy cop-out, but it's a good way to avoid doing anything wrong. Also, in places where people stick to roads and don't swarm out all over the place, the animals get used to their presence faster and may come closer to spots where one can comfortably observe them.
The ideal way to photograph geese would be from a hide or from a car (that's parked in a safe and legal spot, obviously). Geese tend to be less wary of cars than people.
 

AliCat

Member
United Kingdom
You're not being silly, it's a legitimate concern. Unfortunately, sometimes geese are so close to public roads or footpath that it's impossible not to spook them if you want to pass through.
Generally speaking, I'd stick to the aforementioned public roads and footpaths. I know that sounds like a lazy cop-out, but it's a good way to avoid doing anything wrong. Also, in places where people stick to roads and don't swarm out all over the place, the animals get used to their presence faster and may come closer to spots where one can comfortably observe them.
The ideal way to photograph geese would be from a hide or from a car (that's parked in a safe and legal spot, obviously). Geese tend to be less wary of cars than people.
Thank you. The geese seem to stay well back from any car parks or roads so I imagine my best bet it to time my trips around a higher tide so they are closer to where I can get easy access & keep well out of their way.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

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