Get close to the swans
Each lodge has its own flat-bottomed boat. Some autumn days are beautiful, crisp and clear that you have to get your camera out and get up close. The swans are very confident and it is possible to get close up. The wild ducks tend to be a little more wary and up in the air before you’ve had time to get the door open.
Things to Watch – Amazing wildlife from your Lodge
All the lodges at the Tranquil Otter have a private deck that overlook a private lake (known as The Lough). We are known as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to the extraordinary variety of species that can be found here throughout the year. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) regularly surveys the area to record the bird and wildfowl activity.
Bird Count – November 2016
Trevor Merrington, our neighbour from Thurstonfield does a regular bird count for the RSPB. He also provides us a report with his observations, being a keen bird watcher himself. You may seem him with his Westie, Archie, on a Sunday afternoon trying to count the birds. here is Trevor’s report from his visit on Sunday, 13th November 2016 by name and number:
Coot: 20 in Oct (about norm), but increased to 30 today .
Gadwall: numbers steadily increasing; 30 Sep, 48 Oct & 64 Nov (near same last year).
Little grebe: typically ~12, but difficult to spot as they get into the reeds or spend a lot of time under-water. 10 seen today.
Mute swan: nice to see that the two resident pairs and their cygnet broods (2 & 7) are surviving well. They’ve been joined by 24 other adults.
Two Whooper swans were on the lake in early November, there are plenty around the Solway so they could show regularly.
Shoveler: they stand out well with their white chests & big bills. There were 3 pairs in Oct and I wondered if they were the same birds that were here last year, but, if they were they had spread the news about a good site because today there were 7 pairs !
Teal: also very difficult to count, being small and tending to sit in the reeds. Counts are probably significantly lower than actual, but 40 in Oct & 86 today.
Tufted duck: only 2 returned by early Oct, but at least 30 today (also difficult when they are feeding (diving))
Wigeon: the most numerous duck. Numbers just a bit over 150 pairs in Oct & Nov (about 25pair more than these months in 2015)
Water rail: heard both months; you have at least 2 birds responding to call.
Grey wagtail: the ‘resident’ 2 seen on the dock in Sep & Oct counts, but not today.
If you do go out on the boat, let us know if you spot anything unusual. Trevor and our guests did manage to spot the Otter in September!
Explore the wildlife on the Solway Coast
While we have abundant wildlife activity right here on the Lough, many of our guests like to enjoy the extraordinary variety of wildlife along the Solway Coast.
The area is well known for its stunning variety of bird and wildfowl life. The sand dunes, saltmarsh, shingle beds and peat mosses make it a favourite area for oystercatchers, curlews, plovers, lapwings, dunlins, godwits, redshanks and turnstones.
You can get more information about the wildlife on the Solway Coast at: www.solwaycoastaonb.org.uk