The first large group of around 11,000 Barnacle Geese have arrived on Islay in the last few days. This afternoon I've witnessed many of the geese arriving at Loch Gruinart where they finally could rest after their journey from Greenland and Iceland. The big flock of around 40,000 is about to arrive in the next days. This is good news for the birdwatchers, the arrival of the geese provides a magnificent spectacle of nature not to be missed when you're on Islay. On the other hand it is bad news for the farmers, after all the geese feed themselves on the very grass that the sheep and cattle on Islay need in spring to survive. The damage done by the geese last winter was already huge and expectations are that it will be equally bad, or even worse, this year. Talks are being held to do something about this problem for the farmers so stay tuned for updates. In the meanwhile please enjoy the first pictures of the geese taken yesterday and today.
Geese arriving at Loch Gruinart
Barnacle Geese feeding at Loch Gruinart
Barnacle Geese at Loch Indaal near Bridgend