Fish Species - 2011
We saw Monty bring back 408 fish in total during the 2011 season; of the 157 days that he was with us that's an average of 2.6 fish per day. For comparison, Odin from the Loch Garten nest in Scotland this year caught 522 fish, a 28% increase over Monty. Why the difference?
Certainly the fish species are different. Odin bringing back mostly trout and fresh water species from inland Lochs, Monty bringing in mainly sea and estuarine species; Mullet, Sea Trout and Flounder. Is there any calorific differences between these species that would explain the 28% difference? Maybe the size of the actual fish that Monty caught was larger - he certainly brought in some whopping big Sea Trout and Mullet, 2-3lbs some of them.
We also have to consider that Monty and Nora raised three chicks whilst Odin and EJ raised two, making the 28% increase in fish, in real terms, smaller that it actually looks. It was Monty's first year of raising a family, does inexperience have anything to do with it? You would think not as all three chicks seemed never to be without food for too long and were in excellent condition when we ringed and tagged them in July.
We may never know for sure of course, but if the same birds return next year it will be interesting to keep tabs on both pairs, one nesting in an estuarine habitat, the other fresh water Lochs.
Roy Dennis checks for healthy tail feather growth whilst ringing Leri in July © Emyr Evans/MWT