Have we seen the end of the winter at Loch Leven NNR? Beast from the east part 2 delivered less snow but still plenty of interest at Loch Leven.
The ice sculptures were quite impressive along the west shoreline. If you look closely at the bottom pictures you can see the strong wind and ice removed the whole reed bed near to where the hide was. That’s one fewer Mute Swan and Great Crested grebe nesting spot this spring.
The Goldeneye looked like they enjoyed the surf. The loch saw gusts over 40mph from the east. Stronger than when all the snow fell.
The days that followed were quite glorious though. This was over the east of the loch.
More cracking sunsets on the loch
The sun bought the first Wildflowers. Coltsfoot has been bursting up all round the reserve in the last week.
This is growing in the bunds at Carsehall. This is where I first found it flowering last year.
Last week I was helping Steve from Ecoco again with the Softrak. I was helping him at the RSPB site at Black Devon wetlands in the Forth.
We were cutting reeds down there. I’ve not had that experience before and we managed a lot of cutting.
We were working west of the Kincardine Bridge. As I was finishing I had a look at the river as the tide was coming in.
It was clear a lot of seabirds had been bought in with the tide. First bird I spotted was a Razorbill and then a number of Kittiwakes and then I started spotting a lots of Guillemots. It was clear that the bad weather had force a number of these birds right up the estuary. Struggling to feed, these birds become weak. If anyone sees any dead seabirds on beaches please report them to CEH. Guidance on the Isle of May blog.
There is still a bit of wood chip left over by in the Burleigh car park. Keep taking it away. Two thirds of it has gone. I even overheard someone talking about it in our local pub.
We managed a bit of cutting and bailing near the factory. Weather stopped us from finishing it in the autumn. The baler worked very well.
Gus popped by this week. Here he is carping a Conger Eel in the north-east. We enjoyed a bit of birdspotting around the reserve after work.
Shelduck are already on their well established territories around the reserve.
In the middle of the picture is a Mediterranean Gull. There are still very few of these gulls recorded locally.
Here is a slightly better shot of a Mediterranean Gull I took in Fife the weekend before. It’s the bird with white wing tips in the middle of the shot. It differs from the Black-headed Gulls by being bulkier and having white wing tips and a blood-red thick bill. While we were watching the bird in at Loch Leven another bird flew in. This is the first time more than one have been recorded together at here.
Another good find at Loch Leven find was a Rock Pipit on St Serfs. It’s still a very uncommon bird here with probably fewer then 10 records. They are reasonably common along the coast of Fife. This is Gus’s best effort.
Here are the volunteers harvesting Broom around the car park. We are collecting it to plant some of the bare areas around the loch.
It turned into a fantastic team building exercise. Or was that the tea and cake? We collected and processed over 3000 seeds.
We recorded our Loch Leven’s first ever Puffin last week. Spotted fishing with Red-breasted Mergansers near St Serfs the bird had probably appeared during the first spell of bad weather. Unfortunately I was unable to photograph it so I got a picture from my time on the Isle of May.