Orkney Ringing Group

Orkney Ringing Group

Harray Loch

Mute Swan Ringing

The Harray Loch holds a large flock (up to 600 in some years) of moulting Mute Swans in July/August. This flock is the most north westerly concentration of Mute Swans in Europe. It is also subject to widely fluctuating population changes. It was therefore decided in 2003 to attempt have a Mute Swan round up to see if we could The Catchgain information on the flock and hopefully to use ringing recoveries to find out what happened to the birds when the population declines rapidly i.e. to see if they moved away from Orkney or did they disperse to other local lochs or die locally.

As only one local ringer had previously been involved in a Swan Round Up members of the Swan Study Group travelled to Orkney to pass on their experience.

Subsequently other round ups have been attempted but without the success of the initial one. However, good numbers of swans have been caught by hooking them from a
loch boat and this has enabled us keep a good proportion of the birds ringed.

Relaxing after catchIn addition to the BTO metal ring all birds were fitted with a yellow darvic ring engraved with three numbers. This ring can be read in the field using a telescope and we would ask anyone looking at Mute Swans to check for these rings. If you can read the number please contact us using the Contact Page giving details of location and date of sighting.