Ornithology

Some of you might remember the facetiously named blog post from the late summer  – https://lochlevennnr.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/seagulls-in-the-park/

Here is a little follow on from that.

I went out to the Pier to see if it was possible to get the boat out of the harbour. The ice was nearly an inch thick in places and it was going to be tough getting the boat out. My attention was then drawn to a small flock of gulls sat on the ice just off the pier.

P1110167Closer inspection showed that there was a number of marked birds. Some with just a metal leg ring and at three had colourings.

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Closer inspection shows how many birds are marked with leg rings

I counted a total of five Black-headed Gulls marked with 2 colour ringed and three ringed Common Gulls and one colour ringed Herring Gull.

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A close up of a metal ringed Common Gull (right) and Black Headed Gull (left) These birds are just too far off to read.

20150119_105727This bird is wearing White J7PO. I have already read this ring 17/11/2014. It was ringed as a second year bird in Østensjøvannet in Oslo. Yet another Norwegian bird. It has only been recorded in Scotland at Loch Leven.

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This is Yellow T-02A. I was able to find out this one instantly as it was ringed as a chick on St Serfs in by our very own Neil Mitchell, who could tell me the details over the phone while I was in the field, even with a screaming youngster in the background. This is its first sighting since 1/7/2012. This is an interesting sighting because it’s only a matter of days when the first Herring Gulls begin setting up breeding territories on St Serf’s.

Another update since the  Seagulls in the Park blog posting is that I am having a hiatus from listening to The Archers. The whole selling of Brookfield was beginning to get irksome.

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1-kirkgate geese 2 res

1-Kirkgate geese

1-kirkgate geese 2 res

More news from the loch today. We’ve done a goose count this morning. On a beautiful and clear crisp day we counted 6673 Pink-footed Geese and 114 Greylags. The geese that were roosting on Scart Island could be heard from the other side of the loch. Goldeneye were displaying and a Greenshank was seen also.

With over fifty percent ice coverage on the loch we might well lose our ducks if this weather persists. An impressive 1800 diving ducks were keeping part of the loch clear of ice out in the middle.

Thanks to Neil and Craig for the pictures and to Ian Borland for straightening the horizons.

About @jeremysquire

Naturalist living in Kinross-shire originally from Gloucestershire. Twitter @Jeremysquire
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