Thursday 5 January 2023

Thursday 5th January

Peter is away, but I feel he'd want me to comment on the weather - ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. 

It was Phil Edwards' last full day on the island for this trip, and it was a bit of a struggle in the conditions. He and his wife did manage 7 whoopers at the Gruinart South Hide and a couple of woodcock in the area. Thanks very much indeed to them for all their sightings.

pic c/o Phil Edwards

Not a thing on the whatsapp group, bar a late mention of a barn owl at Laphroaig yesterday from Mary-Ann. 

Malcolm emailed in to add his thoughts to Peter and Phil's skittish geese comments from yesterday. He said "In response to Phil Edwards asking if the the Barnacles are more jumpy than in the past because of the culling, and you agreeing, I think it has to be borne in mind that there is virtually no culling taking place this winter (just two farms and small numbers) and that it stopped at the end of January last winter. Geese obviously have memories, but as well as jumpiness from culling, I think that the much increased numbers (and flock sizes) in the last 30-40 years also have something to do with it. I also think it's true that using scaring and culling to reduce the time the geese can spend feeding to fatten up before they leave in April could have a detrimental effect on their subsequent breeding success, but as they have about a month in Iceland to carry on feeding, I think the effect will be fairly minimal."

Thanks very much to all the above. 

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