Saturday 17 September 2011

Birds in the Barley Crop

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.

1 comment:

  1. The feral goose with the white neck is the Bar-headed or the Bar-headed X domestic goose that live just along the road at Braibruich.