14. December 2009

44a Loch of Strathbeg, Grampian Region

Status:  Probably not a truly traditional site in any way, but the occurrence of large numbers of Pink-footed Geese at and around this site, together with intensive observation coverage, means that up to 20 (but mostly 5-10) Greenland White-fronted Geese have been reported in all recent years.  The birds are difficult to find elusive amongst the large flocks of Pink-footed Geese using the area, feeding on stubbles and reseed, flighting to the Loch to roost.
Breeding success: There are no consistent production data from this site given the small numbers involved.
Site safeguard:  Loch of Strathbeg is an NCR SSSI.  It was designated as a Ramsar Site and SPA in 1986 and is partly an RSPB reserve.
Habitat:  Loch of Strathbeg is a eutrophic lowland loch surrounded by rich agricultural land, with extensive cereal and rootcrop cultivation, reseeded and rough grassland.
Threats:  None known, although local goose hunting and disturbance occurs.