My name is Brian Innes, and I am currently studying NC Conservation and Countryside Recreation at Elmwood College, Cupar. As part of my college course, I am required to take part in a work placement. For mine, I chose to work at the RSPB Loch Leven Nature Reserve, from the 9th to the 20th of April.
Monday 9th April
A very interesting first day's work placement. After working with the reserve volunteers in the morning, I assisted the reserve warden, Vicky Turnbull, in the afternoon.
My task for the afternoon was to assist Vicky with searching for Lapwing nests on the reserve. This was carried out remotely, using spotting scopes to search out likely nest sites indicated by lapwing sitting in one spot for a period of time. Not an easy task, as Lapwing are ground nesting birds, their nests are well hidden by vegetation and dips in the ground.
However, a few possible nests were found out on the reserve, by watching the lapwing and seeing where they sat down.
Tuesday 10th April
Another very interesting day doing more searches for Lapwing nests with aid of spotting scopes from the hides. So far 6 possible nests have been located!
Wednesday 11th April
Today I helped the reserve volunteers with fencing repairs out on the wetland, and to create footsteps for the new path down to Little Vane from the woodland trail. A busy day, but very satisfying seeing the a nice new fence and some nice new steps.
Thursday 12th April
A very early start today! Up at 3:45 am to meet up with reserve warden Vicky at RSPB Loch Leven at 5am. We then headed up to RSPB Loch of Kinnordy to assist with an early morning bird survey on the reserve, starting at 6:30am! Luckily the wet weather on the drive up passed, and the rest of the day was bright and sunny.
Lots of species were found on the survey, from a pair of Osprey, through to Marsh Harrier, Willow warbler, Redshank, Redpoll, Yellowhammer and Golden plover. Also a Red squirrel was seen running over the footpath and scurrying up a tree. The early start was definitely worth it!
Friday 13th April
Luckily, not so early a start today! Another interesting day assisting Vicky with monitoring of Lapwing nests. A few more possible nests were found. It looks like it could be another successful season for Lapwing at RPSB Loch Leven.