More geese arrive


I’ve been out enjoying the geese over the weekend. There were over 6000 around. Hopefully the numbers will be even higher by the time we come around to count them the week after next.


The birds are roosting behind St Serfs. Many are also grazing on the closely cropped grass on the island. The sheep have certainly done a good job this summer.

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When you start to look through the geese carefully you begin to spot interesting things within the flock. To the middle and right of the shot is a Greenland White-fronted Goose. Most years we see the odd one or two of these geese. Their nearest regular wintering site is over at Loch Lomond. They differ from the Pinkfeet by having a large orange bill, are darker overall, have orange feet and have a heavy irregular barring pattern on their breast.


This Pink-footed Goose has been fitted with a collar with a unique code. I’ve forwarded this to the goose researchers at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust. I am looking forward to the finding out the life history of the bird.


Last week I wondered if I’d see an October Osprey. The answer is still currently ‘no’ but I investigated the strainer to find scales still on it. I presume these are from a trout.


If you look quite closely you’ll be able to see a Gannet. There were two around the loch yesterday. The ducks and waders don’t know what to do when this large flappy bird flies over! They’re not sure what this alien beast is flying around and are made nervous.


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Just occasionally we se Gannets here as they are better adapted for being at Sea. My theory is birds go right up the Forth and get lost Loch Leven is the first large body of water they find when they try to reorientate themselves. In September 2004 they were all over Loch Leven with 15 counted.


Here is the flock of Golden Plover flock. They spend the day at Loch Leven and head out onto the fields to feed at night. At dusk they get very flighty and vocal.


This Stonchat was along the trail in the Gorse last night.




The Starlings are putting on a good show at the pier. They are roosting in the reedbed. The sparrowhawk likes to investigate  the flock at dusk too but the Jackdaws alert them of its presence.


We’ve been trapping a few moths recently. Nothing too out of the ordinary. A local trapper bought in this Brindled Green for us to have a look at. They’ll be more moths next blog.


In the summer I published a picture of the Foxgloves on St Serfs. They still stand but now brown. Many seeds are produced. Hopefully there’ll be a bumper crop again the following summer as Foxgloves are biennials.



The Red Admirals are still out in force. These butterflies are rather enjoying the Ivy in the graveyard. There are few flowers out right now. Ivy offers a decent food source for insects at this time of year.






About @jeremysquire

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