Sunday, 7 October 2007

Lots to see

There's still a whole lot to see on the loch right now, with average bird numbers in the region of 200 to 250. On Friday i managed to count over 100 Teal in a single visit, we've had over 70
Wigeon and over 60 Mallard on site, too. That's not including an average of 15-20 of both Coot and Moorhen each day!
On a couple of days in the past week we've had flocks of Lapwing on site, too. The largest flock I saw was approximately 60 birds, though only about 20 of them landed at the edge of the loch.
We're still waiting on serious waders arriving. No sign of them yet! Annoyingly, I've seen both Curlew and Oystercatchers in the nearby fields, yet still they haven't found their way to Cullaloe.

It isn't just the loch that's full of life, though. One of the filter beds has been getting cleared out by the SWT conservation team. Now that the dust has settled a bit, you can clearly see a whole lot of activity in the water, from small sticklebacks and minnows to large aquatic beetles and pond skaters. It just goes to show the diversity of species that the nature reserve supports. It also shows that the water quality must be relatively high for all these species to thrive.
There was a point during the week when i was watching a Heron on the loch and it caught a fish at least 6 inches long. It was rather amusing watching it struggle to swallow it, I have to say! Good to see, though, and another good sign of thriving water life.

The butterflies appear to have finished up for the year now, with none being seen in the past week, despite lovely weather for them. I guess it's just getting a little cold for them now. The dragonflies are still about in force, though. Several pairs have been seen to be laying both at the filter beds and at the edge of the loch itself.

There's also plenty of smaller birds about just now, too. The goldfinches have developed a small flock of 10-15 birds, which is really quite nice to see when they fly past or onto a nearby tree. The bullficnhes are still about and are seen daily, there's tits everywhere, including a regular flock of long-tailed tits right now and of course, the woodpeckers are still seen regularly at the feeders!

It really is a great time to be visiting Cullaloe right now! Well worth the visit.

Just to note, this afternoon I'm going to be on site picking up a lot of the litter which had been dropped by the illegal fishermen. I'm also planning on taking a walk around the edge of the loch to see if i can find and photograph the Mudwort. It may result in a large loss of birdlife on the loch as a result, so today may not be the best day to be visiting to see the birds!


Paul McWilliams said...

I was at the nature reserve for the first time today. Quite quiet on the bird front, but I did see what looked like a weasal - have you seen them about?

Llendorin said...

I haven't actually seen any weasels on site, though i don't doubt they're about. There's lots of prey for them, so it does make sense.
Sorry for the delay in publishing your comment and replying to it. I've been away holidaying on Skye for the past few days and I've only just returned