April, 2012

Loch Leven

Loch Leven
Do you love our Loch Leven nature reserve? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Loch Leven

  • Brian's Work Placement Blog

    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.

  • Lewis' Saturday Blog 14th April

    What a fantastic day, I have seen a new species for myself at the reserve- a tundra bean goose. Also I have seen my first osprey of the year flying over the loch, towards the Kinross pier. The bean goose was mixed in with a flock of pink footed geese, two of which had neck collars on but they were too far away to read, which extended over a large area of the reserve. One of my favourite ducks, the gadwall, were present in larger numbers than usual on the reserve along with a pair of nesting swans in front of the first hide. Me and my uncle Alan did a pond dipping session today where we caught close to 30 fish, dragonfly and caddis fly larvae and the biggest diving beetle I have ever seen. When doing this a raven flew overhead along with a rather inquisitive Robin, who had a great interest in what we were doing. Gulls on St Serfs island are now well under way in mating and nesting, with huge numbers of them gathering on the island. They were joined today by another large flock of pink footed geese and the usual perched cormorants. The blog seems to be really long this week, that's because there are so many amazing spectacles here on the reserve to observe. This is a great time to visit the reserve with the lapwings beginning to nest and birds singing all over the place, who knows what will turn up next week.
  • Lewis's Saturday Blog 7th of April

    Well, I'm just back from a fantastic week on the isle of Mull where I was lucky enough to see sea eagles, golden eagles and hen harriers. Though there's no eagles here at loch Leven there are plenty of other great animals to keep us occupied. Again, this morning, a tawny owl flew over the picnic area showing off the beautiful patterns on it's wings. Birds are now well underway with the processes of nest building and chick rearing, with pied wagtails and dunnocks nesting in the court yard. We have also had eggs in one of our Robin nest boxes. On the wetland there are plenty of lapwings, a few curlew and a pair of mute swans. Though on the loch there are huge numbers of tufted ducks and smaller flocks of goldeneyes. The gulls have also began to gather on St Serfs and "love is in the air" for many of them. We also have had a pond dip today, where we were lucky enough to find around 40 sticklebacks and minnow and a whole range of other pond inhabitants. That's all for this week, but don't worry I'll be back with all the latest reserve news next Saturday!