Crook of Baldoon

Crook of Baldoon

Crook of Baldoon
Do you love our Crook of Baldoon nature reserve or the Wigtown ospreys? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Crook of Baldoon

  • Portuguese visitors to the Crook of Baldoon

    Good Morning I thought I would share a bit of interesting news from the Crook. Since I studied ornithology and conservation I have had an interest in the ringing and especially the colour ringing of wildlife and tracking.

    On the 27th April we had three Black tailed godwits on lagoon 1 a male and two females I noted  the male had colour rings red over black and white over green flag. 

    Looking through the data it would seem this bird has travelled in past years through France and Holland on its passage migration why the change in route we can but speculate from feeding habitat loss to prevailing winds and bad weather I think you the reader would agree it is a wonderful bit of science that lets us peek into the world of wildlife. Please take not of any colour rings you see it may seem trivial but but added up it make a whole lot of difference to the funding of conservation science.

     

    RN-WGflag was ringed as an adult male (top line is ringing) and has been recorded since at:

     

    14.03.10 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    16.03.10 Seixal Bay, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    19.03.10 Seixal Bay, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    10.10.10 Corroios, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    24.11.10 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    20.12.10 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    22.12.10 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    23.12.10 Seixal Bay, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    24.12.10 Seixal Bay, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    29.12.10 Seixal Bay, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    06.01.11 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    10.01.11 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    18.01.11 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    03.02.11 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    13.02.11 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    16.02.11 Moita, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    07.11.11 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    08.11.11 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    14.02.12 Coina, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    24.02.12 Coina, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    08.04.12 Zuidhoeksterpolder, Wommels, Friesland, N Neth

    10.04.12 Zuidhoeksterpolder, Wommels, Friesland, N Neth

    18.04.12 Zuidhoeksterpolder, Wommels, Friesland, N Neth

    21.04.12 Zuidhoeksterpolder, Wommels, Friesland, N Neth

    22.04.12 Zuidhoeksterpolder, Wommels, Friesland, N Neth

    01.11.12 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    04.11.12 Barreiro, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    04.11.12 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    12.11.12 Seixal Tank, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    19.02.13 Alhos Vedros, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    22.02.13 Alhos Vedros, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    26.02.13 Alhos Vedros (Gas Station), Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    01.10.13 Corroios, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    30.01.14 Corroios, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    24.02.15 Corroios Mill, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    23.02.16 Corroios Mill, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    16.04.16 Le Bouclard, Le Guérinière, Vendée, W Fra

    17.02.17 Moita, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    19.02.18 Corroios, Tagus Estuary, Setúbal, W Por

    27.04.18 Crook of Baldoon, Wigtown Bay, Wigtownshire, W Sco

     

    It is nice to know that the work we are doing creating wetlands and feeding areas for long distance migrants are being affective since writing the above several more sightings of parties of black tails have been seen unfortunately no more with colour markings

  • April 2018

     

     It has been a harsh couple of months with temperatures in sub-zero and then wind chill coming in at -10. The Crook has had pack ice on the saltmarsh that on the spring tide landed 150mm of ice on the upper marsh, making it look like limestone pavement.

                    Figure 1 Pack Ice dropped out on high saltmarsh

     Due to this our redshanks and lapwings have been very slow to get going with at time of writing only nine pairs of lapwing and seven birds sitting compared against eleven last year. On the other hand redshank pairs have increased by two to seven.

    Bad weather precluded there have been several volunteer workdays on the reserve upgrading the car park with a bit more gravel and log surround to keep cars off the grass.

     

    Another area for the volunteer work parties is to clear flotsam and jetsam off the saltmarsh tideline which involves walking the spring tideline. It is surprising how much fishing industry plastic and netting comes in.  

    The Crook being saltmarsh has land drains from the farmland behind us; this occasionally creates issues with our neighbours' drainage as siltation of drainage channels through the SSSI saltmarsh holds back drainage water in the system. The end result requires SNH consent for replacing silted pipes through the flood bank and drainage ditch clearing of affected area.

     

    Most of our wintering whooper swan, geese and ducks have now moved off back north. Gadwall has had its first recorded pair on the reserve with possible one pair pintail and three pairs of wigeon. Snipe, both common and jack, have been recorded over the past two months, but as yet drumming has not been heard. Passerine birds have weathered well with good numbers of skylark, linnet, reed bunting and tree sparrows.

                  Figure 3Black-tailed Godwits

    Wagtails and pipits have started moving north through the reserve along with other summer migrants such as wheatear and both bar-tailed and black-tailed godwits and common sandpiper.

    Golden Plover hunkered down from the wind. 

  • Jan and Feb 2018

    2018 started quite slow with geese coming in quite late in any numbers and then around mid-January the large flocks of pink footed geese started to come in with small numbers of barnacle geese in the third week. Due to wildfowling most of the geese only used the estuary muds as a roost with some lingering until an hour after dawn. As the month of January progressed into February they followed true to form knowing when they were not going to be shot at and staying on and feeding on the saltmarsh or hopping over the reserve into the grassland behind.

    Counts of 13 to 15 thousand depending visibility were achieved for the bay as a whole and for the reserve 6 to 7 thousand on the muds against the saltmarsh. Inland wildfowling finished on the 1st February and coastal wildfowling finished on the 20th February and true to form the 21st February saw 2000 pink footed geese and 654 barnacles feeding on the saltmarsh in front of the car park and so it has been through the rest of February with a peak of 2500 pink footed geese and 1400 barnacle geese numbers being down on last year could be due to weather I believe. The other long range migrant to grace the reserve are our usual flock of whooper swans with a max count in January of 92 these move around the bay utilising the reserve for roosting and washing in the freshwater lagoons.

    The duck population seems to have dropped away on reserve since last winter’s massive totals of 1500 teal dwindling to 1‘s and 2’s.

    However, our little egret numbers have continued to increase with a max count for the bay of 44 in January and 37 in February with 23 being recorded on the reserve in January.

    Waders have been depleted by weather conditions with golden plovers and dunlin being down by three quarters and two thirds respectively since December.

    Raptors are still evident with peregrine, merlin, hen harrier utilising the wealth of small passerines such as linnet, reed bunting, goldfinch and starling.

     

    Work on reserve has been affected by poor weather conditions throughout both months but once again our volunteers have managed to achieve a lot on their Thursday work parties.

    We have trimmed and layered a 7 year old hawthorn hedge on the main drive but we still have 30meters to lay but that should get done after his cold snap. We have laid around 64 tons of type two on the main trackway on to reserve and car park both of which have suffered quite badly from the weather conditions.

    The main track has been patched twice over the first five weeks which takes a day out of our work program, so we bit the bullet and spread to a depth of 50mm type two aggregate in one day that should last a couple of years as the last time we did this exercise was in 2012.

     

    The wetlands have been very much about checking water levels but with the amount of rain we have had that has not been an issue. On the 27th of February with the help of Galloway reserves staff we got the eight lagoon islands strimmed for the new breeding season before this cold snap there were seven male lapwings displaying on the lagoons.