These are the results of a bird survey carried out by Danny Wallace and Ron Morris on 1st August 2011;
MALLARD – one additional duckling seen recently near hide but not seen on day of survey.
MOORHEN – no sign of recently fledged young. There have been canoeist activities on the loch in the vicinity of the nest on almost a daily basis since leaving the nest last Wednesday. This may have had some influence but it is expected the young may still be present in the dense undergrowth in that area. Two juveniles present on the loch. Both seem to be competent fliers and it is thought they were born earlier this year elsewhere and have dispersed onto the loch.
COOTS – One new nest that may be Coot but otherwise no sign of breeding activity as yet.
Heron sat on the float of a raft
GREAT CRESTED GREBE – no sign of Great Crested Grebe though one of the two active nests could belong to this species. Observations from the bank should be sufficient to identify owner.
LITTLE GREBE – two birds seen. One nest with three eggs present (photo).
TUFTED DUCK – three in flight but no sign of breeding on the loch. (The loch might benefit from the addition of a few more duck breeding boxes.)
GEESE – goslings are nearing full size and appear to be of Greylag stock.
MUTE SWAN – still making use of the raft on which they had a nest. Two old eggs recovered in the water on the raft. Almost all the barley straw has seeped away. It seems likely that the structure of the raft and the inability of the straw to support the eggs and birds may have made it impossible to incubate them correctly. (This would lend support to the idea of a specially designed nesting platform/island for the Swans in particular. Of course there is no guarantee that they will use the bespoke raft, and it may also be worth considering the addition of some branches/wattle in the straw to prevent the eggs falling through the nest, particularly on the raft currently favoured by the Swans.)
PREDATION – No sign of predation though Herons, Carrion Crow and Gulls were present on the loch in small numbers.
FISH – there seems to be an abundance of Sticklebacks but no other species seen.
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