Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Firth of Forth and Loch Leven. 19.4.2015

Contrasted against my last visit to this area on the 6th March today dawned bright with the promise of a repeat of yesterday's wonderful weather. Not so as by 0830 hours the sky had become overcast as cloud moved in , although it remained fine.

Settled in at Lower Largo overlooking part of the Firth of Forth I enjoyed my breakfast alongside views of Velvet and Common Scoter, Red-breasted Mergansers and Goldeneye. A couple of Sandwich Terns made their way eastwards, their progress being easily followed via the progression of their raucous, grating calls.  as might be expected by mid April the numbers and diversity of wintering waterbirds on the Forth has reduced although, with hard work, groups could be located generally.

Moving to Ruddons Point I discovered  that the tide was fully out, farther than I've ever seen it before in fact, and that some form of camping and caravanning "get together " was being held at the nearby caravan site. It was busy to say the least and with the above combination of circumstances influencing things my shorter than intended visit produced very little.  I tried the nearby woodlands and had a rewarding selection of birds including single Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap. all gave out only single brief snatches of song and I wondered if they'd perhaps just arrived the night before?  Great Spotted Woodpecker and Jay called from afar and I spent quite a time simply listening to the wall of sound that comprised Spring song coming from a number of Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Chaffinch and various titmice. Great stuff.

A further time at Lower Largo produced little other than a few Gannet. Many of the duck appeared to have moved further out into the estuary.  The only "newcomer" was a LBBG drinking from the inflowing freshwater burn near to the car park so I moved off to the RSPB Loch Leven Reserve given the day was moving on.

Whilst there was nothing present out of the ordinary a good selection of duck was on show ( Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pochard , Tufted Duck, Goldeneye ) with some Grey lag Geese and a couple of Pink -footed Geese too. A Ruff, Redshank, Curlew, Lapwing and a very obliging Little Ringed Plover all provided good views amidst a never ending backdrop of movement and sound provided by Black-headed Gulls on the nesting islands located within the lagoons. Skylarks sang overhead and the odd Swallow darted past reaffirming Spring was here even if it was still a little cold. A good day in many respects.