Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Lough Neagh flies - a vital food supply for BHG

A few weeks ago I visited our main winter catching site to see if many birds were about, now that the breeding season is in full swing.

There weren't many Black-headed Gulls present and those that were there were showing no interest in the bread-toting toddlers feeding the ducks, something which is unheard of during the winter! Instead they were busily gorging themselves on Lough Neagh flies which were emerging.

Lough Neagh flies are a non-biting midge which, while harmless, can be overwhelming when they descend in huge numbers at certain periods during the spring and summer. Thankfully, they weren't out in force when we visited, but there were still some fairly dense swarms about.

As uncomfortable as they can make life for visitors to Lough Neagh at times, the flies are a vital food supply for breeding birds in summer and support tens of thousands of birds breeding and feeding on the Lough.

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