Royal Burgh of Kinghorn - for residents and visitors alike

See the attached poster for details of how the Club works and how it helps our Community Centre.

Birdlife survey on the loch.

Coot nest Great Crested Grebe What you do not want - mink

Coot Nest

Great Crested Grebe

Not welcome - mink

These are the results of a bird survey carried out by Danny Wallace and Ronnie Wallace on 3rd May 2011.

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.

 “Come & Try Day” - Saturday 14th May, 1pm to 5pm.

Come and Try canoeing with Kirkcaldy Canoe Club and sailing with Kinghorn Sailing Club or why not use the telescope to watch the bird life on the loch using the new Bird Booklet, produced by local bird watchers with the help of Kinghorn Loch User’s Group (KLUG).  Or just wonder around the Ecology Centre and woods or enjoy the wealth of wild flowers.  All activities are free.

Canoeing on the loch. Dinghy sailing on the loch

 KLUG consists of the many clubs that use the loch on a regular basis.  These are canoeists, sailing club, carp fishermen, walkers, birdwatchers and landowners from around the loch.  The group first came together 10 years ago and its first task was to construct rafts to float on the loch to take the barley straw.  Since then the group has successfully built a new jetty and soon hopes to look at making some floating islands to give some birds their own safe nesting places.  

 KLUG will be holding its fourth annual “Come and Try” day when everyone is welcome to come along and find out if they would like to take up a new hobby.

Team effort keeps loch in tip-top condition

Loading straw onto rafts using our boats. Straw bales are gifted by a local farmer

Putting the barley straw out is a team effort

Straw bales are gifted by a local farmer

Rolling the straw bale

Members of Kinghorn Loch Users Group (KLUG) have been busy putting out the barley straw into rafts on Kinghorn Loch.  This helps prevent the problem of blue green algae blooms occurring on the loch during summer months.  “People walking by often wonder what we are doing” says Marilyn Edwards, secretary of the group, but she adds “the barley straw seems to work wonders”.

The regular preventive action has proved a big success in the recovery of water quality in the loch over recent years.  Now the loch and its surrounds are teaming with wildlife.  There is plenty of plant, weed growth and fish life in the water and this in turn has brought a wide variety of birds, including many kinds of ducks, geese and even a regular kingfisher inhabiting the area.  Also in springtime a huge number of frogs and toads visit the loch to spawn and even a rare greater crested newt has been seen.

The process of putting the straw out is one of division of labour.  Some members unravel the straw bales while others load up the boat and put it out to the rafts on the water.  “We are very fortunate to have the bales donated each year” says Marilyn “and this year we have been given the use of a wide bottomed boat to make it much easier to load the straw”.  The straw is piled up high on the rafts and it gradually sinks and rots into the water.  The raft-loading takes a few hours to complete and is an exhilarating job.  Afterwards it is great to watch the ducks and swans settle in on the straw.  Geese, swans and coots have even decided that it is a good nesting ground for the coming season.