Some of you may have noticed the absence of our recent sightings blog over the last few months.This does not mean there has been no wildlife on the reserve! On the contrary there has been plenty to see at Loch Leven so we shall now update you all.
Thousands of Pink-Footed Geese arrived at Loch Leven during the months of September and October. Early morning visitors to the reserve have been greeted by the lovely sound of the Pinkies calling to each other. They have a very distinctive ‘wink-wink, wink-wink’ call.which differs from the harsher 'honk' of the Greylag Geese. Most of the geese will stay for the Winter but some are using Loch Leven as a stop-over point before continuing their journey further south to areas such as Lincolnshire and north Norfolk. There have been large flocks of over 2,500 geese visible from the Visitor Centre some mornings, resting and grazing on the grassland. In amongst the geese there have been a small number of Barnacle Geese and even a Blue morph Snow Goose ! However we think the Blue morph Snow Goose has now moved on.
Another familiar autumnal sound can be heard with the arrival of the Whooper Swans which fly here from Iceland in their family groups to stay for the Winter. They can be seen on the Carden flood from one of our hides or in Vane Bay, making their trumpeting calls and bobbing their heads to each other, checking that they have all landed safely together.There are also large flocks of ducks on the reserve at the moment:- Goosanders, Pintails, Pochards, Goldeneyes, Wigeons,Teals, Gadwalls and, of course, Tufted Ducks.
Curlew numbers are growing as well - a flock of about fifty birds was seen flying over the wetlands this week and a few lucky visitors have seen one or two Snipe hiding amongst the reeds in the wetland. We have also been treated occasionally to the sight of a Marsh Harrier gliding over the reedbed causing panic amongst the ducks.
Our bird feeders near the Visitor Centre and along the Leafy Loop trail are very busy with Greenfinches, Goldfinches. Chaffinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits,Coal Tits and Tree Sparrows.
After an absence over the Summer, a Little Egret has been spotted today on the wetland. Hopefully it stays over the Winter and perhaps will be joined by another to keep it company. Last Winter four Little Egrets were on the reserve together for a short while.
There have been a few reports of Redwings and Fieldfares, the winter thrushes which migrate here from Scandinavia. Hopefully their numbers will increase over the next few weeks.
The acrobatic Red Squirrels can be seen most days dashing around the trees in the woodlands, enjoying the peanuts in the squirrel feeders and generally having fun chasing each other!
Although Autumn is drawing to a close,the trees are still managing to hang onto some of their beautifully coloured autumnal leaves. However, it will not be long before the twigs are bare.Hopefully Winter will bring in lots more interesting wildlife to the reserve!
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