A momentary distraction - Barnacle Geese 
Irish wintering Barnacle Geese breed in north eastern Greenland - many on the cliffs and some fairly dramatic footage many of you will have seen of the chicks making their first glide and a proportion of them getting nabbed by hungry Arctic Foxes availing of the temporary bounty. This population winters almost entirely on the islands and adjacent coastline of the north and west coasts of Scotland and Ireland. 
The population has been increasing and - as a slight deviation from our normal work - some of us were tempted to extend the studies on-going on Islay, the Inishkeas and elsewhere and both add to information on local movements in Ireland (where birds are only ringed on the Inishkeas) and contribute to the wider scale picture on this population in the Scottish/Irish range. Bring out the cannon-nets, set up our base at goose HQ in Inishowen and try catching and marking some birds there. 
In Inishowen the Barnacles roost primarily on Glashedy Island and the Garvan Island for Inishtrahull. 
We have had two successful trips out of three there since January and the total number of birds ringed there now is in excess of 200 birds. This will supplement the 10-15 ringed birds that were present prior to ringing (obv birds ringed elsewhere) and give us something to work on at the individual level for many years to come. 
Our most recent catch (155 processed birds) was completed on 06:50 on Saturday 24th March at Trawbrega Bay some pictures of which are attached. A great team effort (involving in excess of 20 people) led and executed by myself, Daniel, Stuart, Kerry, Alan with considerable support from Martin, Graham, Gerry, Colin, Helen, Sinead, Aimee and Sarah and an army of volunteers - thanks all. 
Lots of ringed Barnacles around Malin/Trawbrega now, this autumn and many winters to come - please look out for rings and report them to us if you are in the vicinity. 
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