The Barnacle Goose by Jeffrey M Black, Jouke Prop and Kjell Larsson
Published by T & AD Poyser
Hard back priced £ 55.00 with 290 pages
ISBN 978 1 4729 1157 5
With Barnacle Geese just down the road on the Solway I was very keen to read this book and find out what I was missing on my frequent trips to view this species. The book is full of information not just about our population but also the new Baltic population which save 2000 kilometres on their migration by not going into the Russian Arctic! The history of our birds is well shown from a mega 300+ birds during the II World War to a maximum 32,000 in modern times. The Baltic goose has grown from 2 to 17000 since 1970!
The first thing you learn from the book is the shear hours put into researching these geese to find such facts as grazing speed and dropping rates. Abdominal profile picture can be a new game. Instead of just reading colour rings you can work out the fat content in individual birds. [Something to warm you up on a frosty Solway morning!] This expanding population on Svalbard has lead to new areas of breeding and even pressures on Arctic vegetation. And now along come the Polar Bears to mop up eggs. What effect will that have in the future. Will the geese nesting on low ground learn to move to new cliff nest sites. More work for the future scientist! Certainly watching Barnacle Geese will never be the same after reading this book and yet another great addition to the Poyser series.