Since February weather allowing we have been bringing into fruition the planned wetland in compartment 5 immediately south of the car park we are now landscaping the spoil from our diggings and hope to have everything ready to start retaining rain water by July we still have some major work with water controls to be done and the installation of a control weir and the development of the three islands one of which will be topped with stone to allow breeding opportunities but things are moving towards a finish ready for our passage waders this autumn.
The Ospreys returned in April they are nesting on the Bay unfortunately not on the tree with the camera but on one to far from electrical source so no pictures this year.
We know the EP is one of the pair but as yet we have not been able to establish the identity of the female and she is sitting on the nest.
Our camera nest was occupied by a mallard when they returned so we believe this moved them to a new site.
Unfortunately this nest has been raided by crows during the 3-4th May resulting to its abandonment by the female.
We will try to keep you up to date with events as and when we can safely gather more information. In the mean time we will keep our fingers crossed that another pair of ospreys find the nest cam appealing and take possession next year.
Well another year is here and with the harvest of the willow last September things are starting to move along planning has gone through and we have started to put drainage lines in to clear large pools of water so the contractor can get in as soon as possible to start digging the new water features. It is planned to start on field 5 which is to the south of the steading and car park then move on to field 1 which is to the north of the Steading.
The winter has been generally kind to present but we still have time for it to surprise us.
On the bird front the geese this year are not behaving as we would normally expect. Early numbers of Barnacle in late October disappeared with 200 Pink footed geese arriving early in December but no really great numbers till mid January but by the 25th of Jan and on our dawn fight event I estimated across the whole bay some 15 thousand Barnacles and Pink footed geese. However, they have not been roosting in expected sites but concentrated in areas just south of Newton Stewart and on the mud flats south of the Crook out from Inner Well. The Barnacles although it is known we have in excess of 1500 on the bay many of which in past years have used the Crook through the winter for their foraging at time of writing seem to have forsaken the site in preference for feeding with the Pink feet foraging in land.
We get quite a few reports of Little Egrets at the Wigtown Office on the Merse across Wigtown Bay but due to the expanse of the bay numbers are difficult to confirm however during early January the local bird recorded informed me he had managed a count of 14 this lead me to start looking for a roost site for such a sizable population and a colleague on the 25th Jan managed to get a count going to roost of 23 a possible Scottish record.
In the Area of the Crook at present Golden Plovers 2000+, Curlew 250+, Lapwing up to 200, Snipe, Shelduck, Dunlin, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Peregrine, Kestrel, Buzzard, Mute and Whooper Swan, Reed Bunting, Goldfinch, Twite, Skylark plus many more.