Monday, 22 March 2010

Report from Roger Lane. (22nd March 2010)

"Not a thing today, nil, zero, silch ! Not a butterfly either, despite the warm afternoon. Have not seen one for 2 weeks or more !
Regarding your e-mail and queries, firstly I had to choose between St.Andrews and Par Beach Pools which should be designated the fishing pool and which the natural history pool (on behalf of the Tywardreath Parish Council in a 52-page (!) report). Even then, c.15yrs ago, it was pretty obvious which was which, having talked to a few fishermen ! Incidentally Par was put forward for N.Hist. partly due to the (then) high density of nesting Reed Warblers, (habitat fragmentation).
Heard tonight that 2 x Bitterns were seen at PBP recently (Feb/March).
Regarding the fish population of the Pools, you will have seen and read about the netting and transfer of the pike from St. Andrews (12 caught and now in Devon Reservoir !), that'll help keep the fishermen at St.Ands ! Meanwhile the population of Par Pool is not documented as far as I know. I think you are correct, I've never seen a large fish therein. This is not surprising since although there ARE shoals of Roach, Perch? etc., they will never grow to any size due to the constant presence of Cormorants, who will swallow all large fish. It was never a fishing lake since it is brackish (as you've seen at Equinox tides etc).
These tides bring in Dabs/flouders/flatfish which are the Cormorants favourite food, it appears. I have seen the shoals of Roach etc. in the shallows - all small ! Probably there are NO big fish, turtles yes, but no pike!
The otters and in the past Mink, take their fair share, or more, no doubt !
Regarding predation of ducklings and cygnets. Am sure that large Gulls are main predators of Ducklings, nice mouthful ! But cygnets I'm not sure, have always imagined Foxes and/or Otters ?, don't really know. Incidentally, saw my first 2 Mallard ducklings today, being sheparded away from their parents by a Canada Geese pair, hope they're not predators too !
Which reminds me, the Canada/Greylag was also present today (or another) in splendid spring plumage: bright yellow legs, pink bill, white on face now extended and eye is below a black 'cap'. Quite photogenic, I should think ! Enough for now."

Thanks for the report Roger.
It certainly clears up a few points I have been pondering.
I should imagine the Cygnets have a high mortality rate and I know only one survived last year.


  1. Thats most interesting. I have seen last year (June I think) by the depth marker 5 x Carp and I've also seen a Heron with a big fat eel. Wether the carp are still alive ?

  2. I do not think Carp would take the Ducklings ..they are basically a bottom feeder. Eels are also bottom feeders and I doubt they would be culprits...At what poundage would you have put the Carp Mark?


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