18 December, 2023
Protecting waders pays off at Tentsmuir
Measures to protect breeding ringed plover at Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve (NNR) paid off this year with a chick confirmed as fledging.
In a highlight of 2023, staff were delighted to spot the young bird after several years where no chicks had been observed on the NatureScot reserve.
Ringed plover breed along the coastline at Tentsmuir but, like many ground-nesting birds, they are vulnerable to disturbance.
To encourage nesting, staff fenced off an area of shingly dune on the foreshore near the icehouse in the summer, where a flock of around 60 ringed plovers were present.
The zoned-off area gave the birds some protection to breed while still allowing visitors to access a popular route for walkers.
NatureScot reserve manager Marijke Leith said: “We know that disturbance really affects ground-nesting birds, so we were keen this year to try and protect an area specifically for ringed plover to breed. We were really pleased that, right in the middle of this zone, a chick was successfully raised.
“One chick may not sound like a lot but we’re very hopeful, looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, that we will be able to build on this with more breeding pairs and chicks at the reserve in future.
“It also demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together to enjoy and respect nature. Visitors were still able to walk and enjoy the beach while allowing the ringed plovers a bit of space. We’d like to say a big thank you to visitors for their help in protecting these birds in 2023.”
In another 2023 highlight, the reserve recorded the first-ever sighting of a holly blue butterfly at Morton Lochs.
This distinctive bright blue butterfly is less common in Scotland but has been expanding northwards in recent years.
- NatureScot Media
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Notes to editors
Find out more about Tentsmuir National Nature Reserve.
There are 43 National Nature Reserves in Scotland. These are special places that look after some of the best of Scotland’s nature on behalf of everyone who lives or visits Scotland, and they provide unique opportunities to visit, enjoy and learn more about Scotland’s nature. For more information, see see www.nnr.scot
NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot
’S e NatureScot buidheann nàdair na h-Alba. Bidh sinn a’ neartachadh àrainneachd na h-Alba agus a’ brosnachadh dhaoine gu barrachd suim a chur ann an nàdar. Tha e mar phrìomhachas againn gum bi nàdar na h-Alba beairteach agus gun dèilig sinn gu h-èifeachdach le èiginn na gnàth-shìde. Tha an tuilleadh fiosrachaidh aig www.nature.scot no air Twitter aig https://twitter.com/nature_scot