In Summer 2020 during the lockdown, measures were more flexible than they are right now. I was able to travel with my family through the country for about 1 hour away from home. We travelled to a wooden Holiday cabin at the Reeuwijkse Plassen, the Netherlands. The cabin was close to a canal and we had a front garden with grass and little flowers. To my delight a small group of barnacle geese were foraging there every day. Barnacle geese normally travel to the High Arctic to their nursery grounds to breed and care for their offspring. I have been to Spitsbergen in early Summer once and I remember them on the beach of Longyearbyen. I do know that barnacle geese in the Netherlands sometimes stay instead of migrating up North, because our climate has become more suitable to their needs. I wasn't surprised to find a group of them in Summer near Reeuwijk. They came on land and started to graze. For about 90% of their time they were grazing, though I was waiting for a moment when they would relax and groom. I just sat on the stairs of our cabin, waiting it out. After a while they started to clean themselves. A barnacle goose came close to me and was shaking its feathers to shake off dust and water droplets. I captured the moment and was so glad with the result.
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Clare Disano • Editor