GSMP survey dates

Icelandic-breeding Goose Census (IGC)

Coordinated census dates 2020/21
  • Pink-footed Goose: 17/18 October, November and 13/14 March
  • Iceland Greylag Goose: 21/22 November and 13/14 March

The above dates include an additional spring count, following the three-yearly cycle reinstated in 2012. The aim of this count is to map the distribution of birds during this critical period in their life cycle, when the are accumulating body reserves for migration and breeding.

Ideally all sites supporting Pink-footed Geese should be covered during the October and November counts, whilst those holding Iceland Greylag Geese should be counted in November.

At sites where British Greylag Geese occur together with Icelandic birds, we encourage counters to undertake a count during September so that IGC counts can be adjusted to take account of the likely number of British birds present.

National Whooper and Bewick’s Swan age assessments

Coordinated count dates for winter 2020/21
  • 17 November
  • 15 December
  • 19 January
or the nearest data possible, preferably within three days either side

Counts of both species can be made during each month; however, for Bewick’s Swan, please focus on December (to coordinate with the international assessment) and January, and for Whoopers, please focus on January.

Assessments made at any other time during the autumn/winter are also welcome.

National goose age assessments

The survey period for age assessments various between species; however, surveys are mostly carried out during the winter.

Population Survey period Notes
Iceland Greylag Goose Oct  – mid Nov care needed with age identification
British Greylag Goose Aug  –  Sep
Pink-footed Goose mid Sep  –  mid Nov
Bean Goose Oct – Nov
European White-fronted Goose Oct – Jan focus on Jan
Greenland White-fronted Goose Oct  – Jan focus on Dec
Dark-bellied Brent Goose Sep  –  Mar focus on Oct – Nov
Light-bellied Brent Goose (both populations) Sep  –  Mar focus on Oct – Nov
Barnacle Goose (both populations) Oct  –  Dec

Greenland White-fronted Goose Census

Coordinated census dates for 2020/21

The most important international census periods to cover for Greenland White-fronted Geese are:

  • 12-16 December
  • 13-17 March 2021

Counts from all other dates and times are very much welcome, but for the monthly counts we especially appreciate counts in the following periods:

  • 14-18 November 2020
  • 9-13 January 2021
  • 06-10 February 2021

International Swan Census (ISC)

The ISC takes place every five years. The most recent was in January 2020.

The next census is due to take place in 2025.