Great Crested Grebe
Not welcome -
These are the results of a bird survey carried out by Danny Wallace and Ron Morris on 3rd May 2011. Report by Rena Wallace.
There appear to be 25 nests in use. There were two broods of Mallards on the loch
at the time (now 3). There are also at least one pair of breeding Little Grebes
in the area of the hide. This suggests at least 28 breeding pairs. There were four
Tufted Ducks (1 female) on the loch at the time. A more recent count identified
3 pairs of Tufted Ducks on the Loch though it is not known if any will breed here
as their numbers fluctuate.
Predators on the Loch include a Mink located near the rocky point at the east side of the loch. A small number of Gulls were present but did not display any predatory behaviour. A Crow was paying particular attention to Coot nests along the roadside shore though it did not manage to take any eggs at this time. A Grey Heron has also been seen on the Loch recently paying attention to Coot nests.
The Moorhen nest located in the bushes opposite the Water Wheel now has at least two chicks. The Canada Goose has succeeded in laying at least one egg in the nest on the barley straw a raft. It is unlikely that this egg will hatch and in any case there has been some unusual activity on this nest since the survey that suggests possible predation.
The Mute Swan on an adjacent raft has also produced at least one egg and we are hopeful this will be a successful enterprise. It may be quite unusual for a Swan to successfully breed on a raft. I will make enquiries with the RSPB.
It is believed that the presence of a Mink on the loch will have a significant impact on the number of birds breeding here. It may be the reason that the number of Great Crested Grebes and Moorhens particularly, is low.
Danny Wallace + Ronnie Morris
Note: if you come across mink traps please leave them alone, or tell the farm if mink are present.
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