More barnacle geese in Scotland


This is a video about barnacle geese in Spitsbergen.

From Wildlife Extra:

Loch Gruinart’s record-breaking influx of barnacle geese

RSPB Scotland nature reserve welcomes 35,000 barnacle geese

October 2011: For the second year running, a record number of barnacle geese have touched down at RSPB Scotland Loch Gruinart nature reserve on Islay .

Last year, staff at the reserve were surprised when they counted 28,000 of the geese during their regular October surveys, more than ever recorded before. But this year, they’re estimating that a staggering 35,000 barnacle geese have now arrived.

Jack Fleming, RSPB Scotland area manager, said: ‘We’ve got wall to wall feathers at the reserve at the moment, it’s absolutely incredible! This isn’t a sign that the overall population of barnacle geese has suddenly had a dramatic increase, it’s just that the feeding conditions at the reserve, and probably the weather conditions while the birds were migrating, have brought more of the existing population here at the same time.’

About 25,000 will roost here regularly

‘Many of these birds will now disperse to different areas over the next few weeks, leaving us with about 25,000 regularly using the roost at Loch Gruinart – still a remarkable spectacle morning and evening.’

The barnacle geese that winter in the Hebrides, breed in Greenland, and have travelled almost 2,000 miles to reach Islay. Loch Gruinart reserve is an ideal staging point for them, as they can feed on the large areas of grassland, and take refuge on the saltmarsh and mudflats.

Barnacle geese, known as ‘barnies’ by birdwatchers, are small geese with distinctive black and white markings and a call like a yappy dog. They’ve been joined at Loch Gruinart by around 400 Greenland white-fronted geese, a grey goose that only winters in very restricted areas of Scotland.

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13 thoughts on “More barnacle geese in Scotland

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