Nice weather for ducks?

I’ve been out and about on the reserve over the last few days doing some monitoring work, and it’s been pretty wild at times.  Sleet, rain and bitterly cold winds have been presenting themselves and a brave few people have been attempting their usual seasonal country walks in spite of the elements.

A Mute Swan drifts in front of the Burleigh Hide

A Mute Swan drifts into the sunlight

I’ve been looking out for the White-tailed Eagles, but to no avail.  I suspect they will be laying low in the strong winds, possibly over on St Serf’s Island.  I have, however, seen plenty of ducks bobbing up and down on the wild water.  Lots of Tufted Duck are gathered at Kirkgate Park, and around Castle Island and Reed Bower.

A few of the Tufted Ducks that are easily seen from Kirkgate Park

A few of the Tufted Ducks that are easily seen from Kirkgate Park

At this time of year I always enjoy watching Goldeneye.  Through strong winds, large waves and heavy rain, they seem oblivious to it all, as they attempt to demonstrate their superiority to any females that may be passing by, with their unmistakable upward head-bobbing.  Get yourselves down to Kirkgate Park and watch them for a while- it really is a cracking form of display.  Try and try as I did, I just wasn’t quick enough with the camera to capture the head-bobbing.  See if you can do any better!

A Goldeneye, having just strutted his stuff!

A Goldeneye, having just strutted his stuff!

Grey Herons were seen in the field at Kirkgate Point with the sheep, and a couple of Mallard seemed to be sat in the wrong place on the end of the pier as waves crashed over them.  Ducks have to tolerate this and a whole lot worse during the course of the year- it is always worth remembering how resilient they really are.

a Grey Heron mingling with the flock

a Grey Heron mingling with the flock

Brave Mallards face the waves

Brave Mallards face the waves

Merry Christmas to one and all!  We look forward to welcoming some of you to the Winter Bird Walk on the 28th December, and many more of you in 2014, as we prepare to celebrate our 50th anniversary.

1964-2014 Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

1964-2014 Loch Leven National Nature Reserve

 

 

 

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
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