An unwanted visitor this time.
On Monday (20/5/12) Duncan, our Senior Tutor, found a dead mink beside the Brerachan Water at Straloch, just upstream of the centre. The animal was curled up as if asleep, so the cause of death is a mystery at the moment.
Mink are an introduced/escaped alien from north America, and can wreak havoc on native riparian ecosystems. At the moment our dippers are on second broods and the wildlife photographers ‘snapped’ a goosander with eight tiny ducklings last week. There are also common sandpiper, mallard, pied and grey wagtails nesting along the river, possibly a kingfisher (we see the occasional flash of electric blue), a small population of water voles clinging on, and a healthy population of breeding waders in the fields and meadows – oystercatcher, lapwing, curlew, snipe and redshank. The last thing we need is a mink on the loose.
Such is the concern that the Scottish Mink Initiative is monitoring populations. We have two of their ‘mink rafts’ on the river at Kindrogan, and just this week we thought we were starting to see signs of activity – the mink leave footprints in wet clay. If we find we still have mink about, we will attempt to trap and humanely dispatch them.
The dead (and very smelly) mink has gone to Ann-Marie at SMI, so we await further information.