|Starlings and Rock Doves|
|Grey-lag geese. Note the, probably feral, bird with a white neck.|
|There has been a large increase in the Grey-lag population in recent years.|
The wild bird population is helping itself to a large proportion of the barley crop on Islay as the farmers wait for the right conditions to bring in the harvest. Much of the barley is being grown for Bruichladdich Distillery. Growing grain crops is always going to be a marginal, high-risk activity on Islay. Seed cannot be sown until late in the spring because of the geese. This means the crop ripens late and faces difficult weather - and these days even more geese... Red deer are also doing significnat damage. They come down at night to feed from the forestry plantations where they hide out during the day.