Whilst we have not had any GPS tag downloads as yet at Strangford it really is just a matter of time. We haven't done any recent counts but the numbers seem to be approximately what they were (12,000 ish) and there hasn't as yet been a significant increase in usage of the bays down the lough nor indeed from farther afield as yet.
With undoubtedly thousands still in Iceland, there were observations today of high-flying birds coming in around Scrabo; looking ahead at the weather charts (my favourites are http://magicseaweed.com/North-Atlantic-Surf-Chart/2/?type=wind&start=2017-09-27 and http://en.vedur.is/) there are signs of assisting northerlies on Saturday and Sunday which may push more birds our direction.
Family units remain very scarce on the ground and a few groups (including a brood of 5 young) were around Horse Island this afternoon.
If you haven't yet witnessed the flocks at the NW end of Strangford you really should and the time is in the next few weeks - it never ceases to impress; the mudflats are covered with geese as far as the eye can see below the airfield at Newtownards towards Comber.
In two weekends time (around 13-15 October) we'll be conducting our major Iceland-France (and all in between) annual assessment of abundance and productivity. If you're following this blog please put this in your diary.
As ever, reports of flocks are welcome (message us here perhaps) as are particularly observations of ringed birds.
And finally - not all Brent survive the journey. This one succumbed to something or other and was found headless along the NW shore of Strangford. Perhaps Mr Fox had a nibble.