I’ve had a busy couple of weeks catching up with some local access guidance monitoring during the ‘tattie’ holidays, and the weather has been very kind to all those families with kids off school for the fortnight. It’s also meant that I’ve been out and about in all corners of the reserve, which has led me to some fantastic wildlife encounters.
I paid a visit to RSPB Loch Leven last week, and was delighted with views of a Greenshank, Slavonian Grebe and a Peregrine which flew overhead. In the hide I met a local photographer named Alex Gilfillan, who has been visiting the loch for well over 30 years, and has a vast back catalogue of images he’s collected during his time here. In conversation, we began discussing Hen Harriers, as we had just conducted the first survey of the winter for this species at Loch Leven last Monday. It turns out that Alex had great views of them earlier this month, and agreed to allow me to share his images on the blog. We recorded no harriers during our survey, but one was seen the following day at RSPB, and I spotted one flying over Carsehall on Saturday- my first for Loch Leven! Alex’s pictures (seen below) are much better than mine though!
Elsewhere at RSPB, once the visitor centre had closed I popped up for a quick look around the picnic area, and as I peered through the squirrel hole you’ll never guess what I saw!
Red Squirrel conservation depends on assistance from the public, and continued efforts to control Grey Squirrel populations, both to prevent displacement through competition, and to ensure that any potential spread of the deadly squirrelpox virus, carried by greys and contracted by reds, is prevented. Please report any sightings of Red or Grey Squirrels in your area by visiting the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels website.