Friday, October 02, 2009

Looking after the corncrakes of Oronsay

Oronsay is managed by the owner, Mrs Colburn, in partnership with the RSPB. The RSPB manage a farm on the island with arable pastures, Luing cattle and sheep. Their management is designed to provide an environment to encourage the corncrake and the chough. In late summer, corncrakes and their chicks hide in long pasture and are killed by conventional cutting.

On Oronsay, large patches of nettles are grown and the cutting takes place late in the season. Uncut areas are left in each field as cover for the corncrakes.

There are large patches of specially grown nettles near Oronsay House...

...where we left Mrs Colburn.

From her room in this beautiful 18th century house, she must love the sound of corncrakes in the morning!