So go to Rother Valley Country Park near Mosborough, Worsbrough Country Park or Cannon Hall near Barnsley, and you'll find large flocks of Canadian Geese and it's fair to say, alien or not, that most people like to see them.

Wildside: November >Wildside: December >

Look for them much higher than the local movements of Canada Geese and Grey Lags, and often in much greater numbers. Listen for the call, a high pitched unk unk and wink wink wink. This is different from the call of the Canada Goose which books describe as a repeated and loud wagh onk.

Both they and the related Short eared Owls arrive here in numbers during winter and often hunt out over wetland and marsh.

But this did seem early and I would have expected them to be active in January rather than December. But then I did have Mallard ducks courting and mating back in late October. If the weather had stayed mild in early 2009 we might have had a fair number of baby ducklings on local rivers and lakes quite early on. But with the cold weather that will have been put back a few weeks.

The most remarkable perhaps are the Long eared Owls which gather in communal roosts. Dense hawthorn areas such as old railways embankments at sites like Old Denaby Nature Reserve and at Rother Valley Country Park, both in South Yorkshire, are typical locations for these birds.

However, the big spectacle is yet to come. This is the return migration of vast numbers of wild geese from East Anglia and the Wash, firstly to the north western marshes and then way beyond to Greenland and Iceland.

A Walk on the Wildside: Februaryby Ian Rotherham

Early on Saturday 14th February there were flocks high over Norton in south Sheffield. In recent years the numbers of wild geese have increased all across Britain. They split neatly into two broad categories; the resident non natives and the genuinely wild winter visitors.

I can't really say more but do try it at home. They are generally one of our earliest birds to begin breeding, but I'm not sure if this counted as late 2008 or early 2009. They are highly territorial, and with good cause; they have to defend an area which will provide food for a demanding family, so they are both vocal and potentially aggressive.

The Tawny Owl is our main owl of parks, gardens and of course woodlands. We do have other species across the region, and some of these can be seen in the middle of winter too.

Wildside: November >Wildside: December >

Baby Canada Goose Elijah Bomber Blue Topaz Outlet Australia

Winter geese

Our environmental expert Ian Rotherham tells us what we should be looking out for in South Yorkshire this February and the places to spot the wildlife.

Ian Rotherham directs the Tourism and Environmental Change Research Unit at Sheffield Hallam University. Read his observations on other months by clicking below.

The sun is setting and the East Anglian sky is a rich mauve hue. Set against this are seemingly endless flocks of geese calling loudly, etched in black against the vivid backcloth. People simply stop and stare; the spectacle is so amazing and this is one of nature's great spectaculars.

Ian and Rony welcome your letters, comments, sightings and records. Phone 0114 279 6699. For your nature sightings and photos. The views in this article are those of Dr Ian Rotherham and not of the BBC

Almost everywhere there's a decent body of water you are likely now to see large numbers of the exotic Canada Geese and increasingly the feral Grey Lag, the origin of the farmyard goose.

The RSPB are suggesting that the Wash population of wintering Pink feet is now around 50,000 and they are now making the return trip. As they do so, many are passing over the south western part of Yorkshire and are worth watching out for.

Sometimes you see one owl staring at you with bright eyes and erect ear tufts; then another, and another and another. You can even get an uncanny feeling of being watched by an unseen observer, and then in the gloom of the shrubs to make out the typical elongate shapes of the motionless Long eared Owls.

This is where their far flung breeding sites are. I've been down in Norfolk recently and the sheer numbers of Pink footed Geese are very impressive. The areas around Snettisham and Dersingham have up to 25,000 plus good numbers of Baby Canada Goose Elijah Bomber Blue Topaz Outlet Australia Brent Goose and smaller numbers of White fronted Geese.

Waxwings on an aerial in Mosborough

The effect on both local people and visitors is worth watching. As the geese fly out from arable fields where they feed during the day, they head for the seashore marshes and it's quite remarkable.

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A Walk on the Wildside

February March 2009:: Wild geese over South YorkshireWell it has finally happened Pink footed Geese have been streaming over the region in their thousands.