This week I was out counting ducks, or more specifically, pairs of ducks with Andy from Elmwood College. The purpose of these counts is to assess the breeding pairs of ducks and then later in the year to count broods. This allows us to calculate breeding success and productivity.
These counts start early as we are counting from the boat and the loch is generally much calmer in the early morning. It’s very difficult to use binoculars or a telescope if you’re being bucketed about in a 20mph wind!
I picked a good morning- a little mist which soon burned off. As we left the harbour, the first duck was a tufted duck which loomed out of the mist.
The male wasn’t far away
At this time of year the females are nearly always paired up, but there are lots of males who didn’t get lucky. They hang around in gangs of disappointment.
Later on in the morning, the mist burned off and it proved to be an ideal day to count ducks.
I will release the results of the pair counts when Lesley has deciphered my scrawl and added up the numbers for the survey.
Many thanks to Andrew Hally from Elmwood College, who took most of the duck pictures and took part in the pair count.