Latest reports on the geese are as follows: 
At the North end of Strangford Lough this evening on receding HW, Alex Portig (the counter!!) and myself recorded about 6,000 birds now present. Despite good conditions for reading towards dusk, we only managed to identify seven ringed birds, as they continue to be WAY out on the mudflats following the tide. No families recorded, despite large samples being examined. 
However, the first family this winter (3 juveniles) has now been recorded, and came from the Isle of Rum from Sean Morris, the family including a marked bird which had lost a ring. 
From the nearby Isle of Skye, a small group of 13 adult brent held 3 marked birds, reported by regular observers Martin Benson and Bob McMillan. 
Christine Cassidy and Lindsay Hodges also recorded the first ringed birds from Lough Foyle, in a flock of about 120 geese at Ballykelly. 
The new season is clearly under way................ 
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