Today blog is written by Information Officer Paul Stammers
Great Northern Diver(Loon)
The wailing call of the Great Northern Diver has no doubt sent shivers down the spines of many a birdwatcher. The divers were first recorded in the bay as long back as 10th March and are still being seen regularly. Some of the best views have been from Teal Hide and Swan Hide at the Lyndon Nature Reserve.
Almost all the Great Northern Divers seen off the British coast and on our inland waters are visitors, seen only in their dull winter plumage. A few spend summer north and west of Scotland, and it was long thought that some might breed there. This was first confirmed in 1970, when a pair with 2 chicks were seen swimming in a loch in Wester Ross.
Like all divers the Great Northern Diver is most at home in or under the water, where it feeds. Its wings are small, so although a strong flyer, it cannot take off without great effort.
Great Northern Diver feeding on American Red Signal Crayfish caught in Manton Bay. The crayfish were introduced into the River Gwash many years ago by a local land owner and have now found their way into the reservoir.
We would like to thank Carol Caton who has kindly let us use her photographs which were taken from Teal Hide.