Another new species for Loch Leven – Bearded Tit!

It’s not often we get to report a new species here at Loch Leven but there are a few that we have always thought would perhaps make an appearance one day (This year’s Glossy Ibis wasn’t one of them!). This year we have been lucky enough to have two of these recorded. Both of them are species which  have been predicted to expand their range from their Scottish strongholds of the Tay reedbeds.

The first was record of a singing Reed Warbler which was heard by a visiting birder in the extensive reedbeds at Levenmouth. Their distinctive song is often heard south of the border but is still a rare occcurence in Scotland. (correction apparently there are two previous records of Reed Warbler on the reserve but we’re still excited!!)

As part of regular ringing operations by licensed bird ringers on the reserve Bearded Tits have now also been heard and seen on the reserve. Indications are that this part of a wider irruption of the species with the most likely point of origin being the Tay reedbeds. These irruptions can be caused by many factors often linked to population size, weather conditions and available resources. Iain Malzer is doing a PhD based around the Tay population. For more information and to report further Bearded Tit sightings see this blog from our RSPB colleagues. As yet, no ringed beardies have been recorded at Loch Leven so we can only suspect but not yet prove the link.

Both

Male & female Bearded Tit – Can you guess which is which?

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