Winter and Spring combined

The weather has been all over the place over the weekend here at Loch Leven NNR. It’s been warm during the day but quite cold at night. Today there has been blasts of snow and sleet with prolonged sunshine in-between.

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This dandelion looked cheerful in the sunshine……

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I was trying to capture this picture of a Carder Bumblebee but it had flown off before I got the shot but I liked the cheerful picture

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Around 4000 Sand Martins have been around Burleigh Sands this morning. These birds northward passage has been halted by the winds.

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I stood to watch them a while. At first glance they appeared to look tired and taking a rest in the recently sown field but on closer inspection they were enjoying the opportunity to take a dust bath.

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They would occasionally fly up in waves shaking the sand out of their feathers

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There were plenty of white horses on Loch Leven today. This pair of swans have not started making their nest yet but there are seven swan nests built in the Phragmites reeds behind the gabion baskets on the east shore of Loch Leven.

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there has been quite a sandstorm at loch Leven. Unlucky for the folks who cleaned their windows at the weekend.

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Prolonged dry conditions and cultivated fields means we occasionally see sandstorms like this.

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A sleet shower comes in from the west behind the sandstorm on the right hand side of the picture. It was very similar to this last year in April.

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The Orwell Stones were barely visible at 100 yards. Traffic was forced to slow down.

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Many birds are nesting now and this lovely hen Blackbird is collecting food to take back to feed her chicks. I’ve also seen Song Thrush carrying food and Robins sat on nest. Many of our boxes we put up for tree nesting ducks have commandeered over by Stock Doves. There are at least 5 Tawny Owls nesting around the reserve. Migrant birds are slowly appearing with my first House Martin and Sedge Warber spotted today. Swallows are on territory now too.

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This flock of 25 Black-tailed Godwits were off the Kirkgate on Thursday. These birds stopped off at Loch Leven en-route to their breeding grounds in Iceland.

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Neil informs me there are 137 Greylag Goose nests on St Serfs Island. They’ve been hatching young since the 6th April. There are lots of goslings to be seen at Vane Farm on the fields.

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Night time cyclists have reported to me blood curdling cries from Levenmouth and the Blackwood. This is not a beast but the loud echoing barking of Roe Deer. The males are becoming territorial.

About @jeremysquire

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