Leven In The Rain

Hi all. I spent a few hours over at Loch Leven today so thought I’d share a few shots with you. You may have to 'open' some of the photos individually if you want to see them as they should look. :-) The weather was forecast to be quite wet and dull at all of my usual haunts so I thought that rather than wandering around getting wet I’d spend a few hours holed up in one of the hides on the reserve. I chose the Carden Hide for no particular reason as I find all of the hides to be great places to spend at bit of time on different occasions. As I’ve said about the weather, please don’t be expecting gloriously bright and colourful photos with wonderful ‘catchlights’ in the eyes of all the birds; the aim of today was to get out and enjoy what was about, regardless of conditions. I’ll post the photos as I took them, so one or two of the birds may crop up more than once. We start off with a Greylag Goose and her merry band of youngsters; it’s nice to see so many youngsters which are now large enough to perhaps avoid the predation of some of the larger Gulls.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were moving around at the wee Island to the left of the hide.

There was lots of 'coming and going' from the many Greylags and Goslings, a few of which are shown in this next shot.

The Great Crested Grebes spent several minutes on the Island before moving off again.

And speaking of Grebes, there were a few Little Grebes going obout their business as well.

The next shot looks to be really grainy, but is actually just really rainy.!! A gorgeous Roe Deer buck out in front of the Waterston Hide.

On the Island to the left, the Black-headed gulls are sitting out the rain on their nests.

I do love the Black-headed Gulls, theyre always on the go with this and that. This particular bird was about to take off after bathing.

I freely admit to being a huge fan of all Gulls, although my particular favourites (at the moment) are the Common Gulls.I don't see too many of them where I live so it's always good to come onto the reserve where I manage to see them more often than not.

A few young birds to get us started.

Aren't they just wonderful.!!

With an adult on the wee Island out in front of the hide.

As I've said, I'll post the photos as I took them, so we're back to the Black-headed Gulls again.

The distinct harsh call of a distant Grey Heron alerted me to this gorgeous bird gliding in.

There were a few Redshank going about but this is the only shot I managed. At least you'll know what the back of a disappearing Redshank looks like if you see one.!!

I know... more Black-headed Gulls, but it's my thread and I like them.!!

The bird that I was perhaps least expecting today was a lovely Marsh Harrier (a male I think). As is the usual for me, birds of prey seem to be a jinx (photographically) and all of the close range shots I took were blurred. It’s not just Marsh Harrier's you understand. Here at Loch Leven I've had fantastic, well lit, close up and personal opportunities to photograph Kestrels, Buzzards, Ospreys, Peregrine Falcons, Hen Harrier’s and White Tailed Sea Eagles and the result is always the same….blurred. I'm still happy with the shots I've taken, but it's been eating at me for years that I've got great shots of fast flying birds such as Teal, Gadwall, Puffins and the like, but I seem totally incapable of photographing a huge slow flying Buzzard at 40 yards in bright sunshine.!! :-) Regardless, my day will come.!! The next few shots are of the Marsh Harrier hunting out over the fields.

Not unheard of, but still a wee bit surprised to see a Pink-footed Goose still around, an so close. They're normally quite shy birds in my experience.

Another of my favourite birds, Tufted Ducks. Starting with a male.

And now his gorgeous girlfriend.

It's not uncommon to see Pochard here either. I managed to snap this one as it hurtled past.!!

At the risk of appearing to give the impression that every bird is my favourite, I do like a Lapwing or two.!!

The Marsh Harrier put in another appearance, so I took this nice safe distant shot of him. :-)

A few shots of one of the many Tufted Ducks around, this one coming in to land.

I was waiting for a pair of Shoveler to come out from behind the reeds when these Teal came careering in at their usual high rate of knots.

A final shot of a distant Shelduck to finish off with.

Other birds spotted today were Reed Bunting, Swift, Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallards, Mute Swans, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Tree Sparrow and all the usual suspects at the bird feeders at the Cafe area. A lovey well lit and reasonably close Buzzard was also photographed but sadly, all the shots were blurred.!! Also plenty of Rabbits and a distant Fox. So.... the moral of the story is.... don't sit in the house when the weather isn’t as good as you would like it to be. Get out and about, you never know what delights you’re going to see. A most enjoyable few hours.

My bird photos HERE

  • Hi Paul just joined the group so I could comment on your fantastic thread. Wonderful selection of photos as usual even in the rain. Mummy Goose certainly has her wings full with that brood. Has she stolen some from someone else?

    Marsh Harriers look great in blown up pic.

    Kind regards

    Jenny

  • In reply to nairnred:

    Hi Paul, I couldn't let this thread pass without comment.   Your enthusiasm shines through of the lovely day you had and quite puts me to shame as when it rains I kind of hibernate :-)   Really interesting to see all those birds and agree with Jenny that the Marsh Harriers were good when enlarged, so don't do yourself down about birds of prey!!  Love the peewits too, they have such lovely plumage, and how on earth did you capture those teal, like rockets aren't they.

    Smashing thread so thanks for posting.

    Lot to learn

  • In reply to gaynorsl:

    Thanks ladies, I'm glad you enjoyed.

    My bird photos HERE