Each month over the winter we do an all island goose count, well everywhere we can see from the road in a day. We are counting Greylag, Greenland White-fronted and Barnacle Geese and while looking through a telescope we are on the lookout for any readable rings. They are usually coloured and have three large letters on and if you are lucky and have a bit of patience as the goose moves you can read them thereby identifying the individual goose.
A few days ago when we did the January 2018 count we found a Barnacle Goose with one of these rings, and it was combination not recorded on Coll before. 24 hours later after an email to those in the know we found out that it had been first ringed as a juvenile bird on Islay in October 2016 where it spent the rest of the winter. The goose then left the UK to return to its breeding ground in Greenland for the summer (we assume this bit), and then its ring gets read again on Islay in October 2017. For whatever reason between October 2017 and January 2018 it decided it would come up to us on Coll where it is now merrily feeding with our 900+ Barnacle Geese. Goes to show that they aren’t fixed to one wintering ground and movement of birds between the islands does take place.
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