It’s been another magical week at Loch Leven with mirror calm water in the mornings.
We’re seeing the first decent Chironomid hatches around the loch. The insectivorous birds are enjoying this plentiful supply of food.
Not sure the herons are too keen on the flies though.
I’m finding a few more of the herons have hatched now. In 2009 they were fledging by the end of May.
The 20 pairs of Mute Swans nesting around the loch are at different stages of nesting. This bird is sat on eggs, others have nests but no eggs and some pairs have not bothered this year but still stoically defend their territories. This is partly due to the late spring but also the high water levels.
Yellowhammers are visible in the north side of the loch. The males have a familiar song. Listen to it here.
The willow buds are in flower right now.
These are another excellent food source. This is typical early season Bullfinch food but many insects including bumblebees and hoverflies enjoy the feast.
The odd Wheatear is turning up around the reserve. These birds breed on the surrounding hills. Many of them head much further north with some getting as far as Greenland.
There are some spectacular clumps of Marsh Marigold brightening the ditches right now.
Bogbean is just emerging at Findatie. It has a very short flowering season.
Botany is still a bit quiet but I’m finding the odd Orchid in it’s early stages.
I’m finding Flowering Wood-rush out at Burleigh. It’s an indicator of low nutrients. We keep the nutrients low on our meadows by cutting and lifting the cuttings every year.
We stumble across the odd plant we don’t want to find too. This Giant Hogweed was growing at Burleigh but has now eliminated for safety reasons.
On areas we don’t mow and lift we use cattle. the first cattle have gone out onto Carsehall. They don’t look very pleased about being out there.
Carsehall Bog is looking very lush and green right now. We had two pairs of Lapwings on here this spring and one pair laid eggs. This is the first time on the actual bog for years. All the work we have been doing to improve the bogs botanics are benefitting the birds too.
The swans are enjoying the farmers crops again.
A few butterflies are on the wing now. Tortoiseshell, Green-veined White and Peacock are on the wing right now.
Moth of the week is this Red Sword Grass. We catch one of these annually.
This Goldenrod Pug is certainly one for the purists. I have trapped three of these this week.
Roe Deer are very obvious around the reserve. This doe fed in front of the Levenmouth hide oblivious to my presence.