WREN - Wester Ross Environment Network
 

Terns fledged by Mellon Charles . . . family of 4 mink seen nearby!

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Terns fledged by Mellon Charles . . . family of 4 mink seen nearby!

Nearly everyone here in Wester Ross has been very busy over the past few
months making the most of longer days and the short summer 'tourist' season.
However some rafts and tunnels have been checked by SMI volunteers as they
go about their day to day activities. The mink that were seen earlier in the
year near Loch Broom and near Aultbea were not subsequently caught; so it
was not such a big surprise to get a phone call last week (mid July) from a
member of the public reporting the sighting of a family of 4 mink seen near
the shore by Loch Ewe*.

Nearby is a weedy lochan which used to have nesting moorhens, coots, little
grebes, black-headed gulls and ducks. I'm not sure whether any gulls or
wildfowl have bred successfully there this year? However, only a few hundred
metres offshore, a colony of Common Terns have bred successfully, rearing 20
chicks (not as many as in some other years). The terns nest on an old
concrete pier, which can only be accessed from the sea via an old metal
ladder.

There are many records of mink decimating colonies of terns on islands
elsewhere in the west of Scotland! However it is just about possible that
this old WW2 'nesting platform' which belongs to the MOD, is mink proof? The
Wester Ross Environment Network has plans to set up a remote camera on the
nesting platform in 2016 to learn more about the tern colony and the things
that may influence breeding success there.

Where else have terns bred successfully in the west of Scotland in 2015?

*SMI Volunteers around Loch Ewe have been notified about the Mellon Charles
mink family.

WREN would like to thank the following organisations for their support:
Scottish Natural Heritage
The European Agriculture fund for Rural Development. Europe investing in rural areas
Leader
RSPB
The Highland Council
The Scottish Government

Tom Forrest (Chairman) chair@wr-en.co.uk

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