It was a blustery Sunday at Loch Leven NNR this weekend, and a much improved day for the re-scheduled Loch Leven Walkathon, in aid of Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.
Avoiding last month’s unseasonal snowfall proved a wise decision, and walkers were even treated to glimmers of sunshine and blue skies, as they walked between 6km and 11km, in order to raise money for the Scottish charity. The sponsored walk ended up with 150 participants over the course of the day, raising over £8000 – £1000 more than last year’s total!
Also taking place on Sunday was the Haiti Help sponsored walk, raising money to support an orphanage in Haiti, with children affected by the recent earthquake in the Caribbean country. 43 people participated in the walk, starting at RSPB Loch Leven and reaching the Pier in Kinross a few hours later. The full amount of funds raised at present is unclear, but it’s thought to be over £1000, which will go directly to the orphanage. For more information please visit the Haiti Help website.
All in all, the reserve was pretty busy this weekend, with at least 193 sponsored walkers as well as local path users and visitors on the trail. A quick look over at the Historic Scotland boats going to and from Castle Island indicated that they were pretty busy too…
Numbers of Swifts were up to dozens soaring over Castle Island after the first one was seen on Saturday. Swifts are amongst the later summer arrivals, spending only a few weeks on their nests each year, before taking to the wing for another 11 months of non-stop soaring. They’re even able to sleep on the wing! Loch Leven is an excellent feeding site for them on account of the masses of flying insects hatching from the water through the spring and summer months. We were also pleased to see Small Tortoiseshells making an appearance when the weather brightened up, although they didn’t look nearly as sure on the wing as the Swifts do!