Anyone who has been playing on our course over the past few months will have noticed our feathered visitors, the flock of Brent Geese which congregates annually on the course and surrounding areas. Although some might consider these birds pests, most of us appreciate that, far from being nuisances, the benefits derived from their presence on the course far outweigh the disadvantages. They keep the fairways at a low level, and they are a free source of fertilizer all over the winter. Some of the more wise members in our club have commented that they would be great substitutes for the Fás workers who are no longer available to us. Anyway, it’s great to see them every year.
Pale-bellied Brent geese breed mostly in
Brent geese nest on the boggy Arctic tundra, where the severe climate allows them only about two months of good weather in which to raise a family. By mid-September, they have left their breeding grounds, and arrive in large flocks on our shores in early October. They spend the winter feeding on eelgrass in estuaries and on crops in adjoining fields.
In April, Pale-bellied Brent geese leave
head north again. The pale-bellied Brent geese stop over in Ireland . Here they fatten up,
increasing their weight by up to 40 % in preparation for the final 3,000 km
(1,865 mile) flight over frozen Greenland to their breeding grounds in Iceland .
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