15. December 2009

73 Bladnoch Valley and Wigtown Bay, Dumfries and Galloway Region

History and status:  Abandoned (R&O 59).  This flock was once quite substantial, and R&O (1979) speculated about whether there were two flocks involved.  They identified one group which fed on farmland in the Bladnoch Valley and which probably roosts on the nearby Clugston Loch, numbering c.30 geese.  The second, similar sized group appeared to frequent Wigtown Bay and the Cree Valley, feeding on farmland and on the peatlands of Moss of Cree.  Numbers fluctuated between 17 and 66 in the period 1965/6 to 1978/9, with 55 still present in the last winter.  Extensive survey by Paul Shimmings and Paul Collin in the 1980s and 1990s has confirmed that this flock has abandoned this former site, despite regular numbers in the first two winters of the survey.  Although always difficult to find in an area of rough pasture amongst complex topography, sufficient coverage in recent years strongly suggests that they are no longer present.  The cause of the extinction is not clear, although agricultural improvement of much of the grassland of the area has taken place.
Maximum winter counts: