Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Visiting Loch Leven 4th May

Loch Leven Kinross Journal

tufted ducks
Tufted ducks at Loch Leven
Visiting Loch Leven nature reserve - day one. I'm lucky enough to be spending a couple of weeks house and pet sitting in Milnathort near Kinross so I'm in easy reach of Loch Leven  so I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to write an ongoing journal.

Loch Leven in the old county of Kinross north of Edinburgh in Scotland. It is a huge loch stretching about 5 square miles and is maintained by The Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB. With a round the loch trial at 13-14 miles it is a wildlife haven for thousands of birds and with a bit of luck I'll be able to capture at least some of them on camera. 

4th May at Vane Farm

As it was my travelling day I hadn't really expected to get any bird watching in, But I made such good time on this sunny day I was hours too early to meet with the folk I am pet sitting for so I decided I would spy out the land with a quick visit into Vane Farm, the RSPB reserve on the south bank of the loch. 

They have the usual visitor centre with a nice upstairs cafe that has telescopes and web cams so you can follow the action. You reach the  hides by going through a tunnel under a busy road. It is a bit noisier than most reserves but you don't notice it once you are inside one of the three hides. 

As I just intended a quick visit to check it out I only took my 300mm lens so didn't get the best shots but there is certainly plenty to see.

ruff
Ruff at Loch Leven
Top of the shop was a superb view of three visition ruff - on their way north where they will breed. I'd never seen any before and they are certainly very striking. 

One of the RSPB volunteers told me these birds have been wintering in Africa and are travelling north to breed along the Moray coast or up into Scandinavia. They are wading birds feeding on insects and seeds, even some small fish.

Ruff are on the threatened list and judging by the reaction of the RSPB staff, these were a fairly rare sighting here.
Ruffs at Loch Leven
Ruffs at Loch Leven
Ruffs at Loch Leven
Ruffs at Loch Leven
Ruffs at Loch Leven
Ruffs at Loch Leven

Ruffs at Loch Leven
Ruff
 
Ruff at Loch Leven
Ruff


There are loads of Greylag geese around some with chicks though I wasn't close enough to get any piccies of the chicks. Most of the greylags have already migrated north but these are residents. It's no secret geese are among my favourite birds to watch and Greylags are particularly elegant. 
Greylag goose
Greylag Goose on Loch Leven

Greylag geese at Loch Leven
'Bath time' Greylag geese at Loch Leven


Greylag geese at Loch Leven
Greylag geese at Loch Leven

Greylag geese at Loch Leven
Greylag geese at Loch Leven

Greylag geese at Loch Leven
Greylag geese at Loch Leven

Greylag geese at Loch Leven
Greylag geese at Loch Leven

Other sighting include multiple tufties, oyster catchers, mute swans, goosander and lapwings. The lapwings are paticularly beautiful and are sitting on nests right now. Hope to get some better photos in the next few days. 
Tufted ducks, Lapwing and Gull
Tufted ducks, Lapwing and Gull

tufted ducks
Tufted ducks


tufted ducks
Tufted ducks



Today - the 5th - has been pretty much a wash out - literally with non stop torrential rain so I am looking forward to exploring more of the loch in the next few days.

2 comments:

  1. Interesting. A swan post showed up in the "My Blogs" feed page; now this site says that post does not exist. I hope that means it's being edited and will show up later.

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    Replies
    1. yes, bit to techno problems Priscilla

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