If you visit the reserve in the next few weeks, you’ll see that there is something afoot in front of the Visitor Centre at Loch of Strathbeg.

Starnafin Pools, Lorna Dow

This view will be changing, just slightly. As many folk will know, the predator fence that was put up to protect the nesting terns and gulls on the islands was extremely successful. We went from approximately 20 pairs of common terns before fence to approximately 300 pairs this year! This success was due to excluding otters from the island giving the terns and gulls a safe haven from their egg munching ways.

As it has been so successful, we have been able to get some additional funding to extend the protected area and contractors will be installing a predator fence around the pools area that can be seen from the visitor centre.

This will cause a bit of disturbance over the next few weeks and there are unlikely to be many birds seen in the pools over this time due to the work. All the hides will still be open, as will the visitor centre but visitors should be aware that there may be additional large vehicles moving around the site.

It is hoped this work will create a much larger protected area for the terns and gulls to breed in alongside other ground nesting birds such as lapwing, redshank and snipe. So please be patient for the next few weeks while the work takes place, it should bring benefits in the long term!