May 7, 2011

Loons/ Loch o banks

I had a spin out to the Loons this afternoon in an attempt to re find the otter of the other day. Of course this wasn’t to be but I did see plenty of action from the dab chicks as they guarded their nest sight from all comers, There were some good sights of Reed buntings which kind of makes up for all the Sedgies being so far away this year A different Mallard appeared with six chicks which was nice, the weather wasn’t so good though. A strong breeze blew into the front of the hide and it was cold, draughty and off putting. With little sign of an otter (little surprise there lol) I decided to cut my losses and head off. Heading for Dounby I decided on the spur to go and have a look from the Lochend chalet hide. Its been a while since I had been in there and the short path in was impressively over grown with a big willow fallen over the path baring the way. This passed and I made it to the hide.

Looking now in the opposite direction the wind is behind us with the bank of large willows soaking up the power of the wind. The vista is open and sunny and the hide is warm. There are not so many birds close in here because the pools are separated and very shallow but the view is further than the loons and across the ground all of the local breeding species are kicking about. Every where there are nesting birds, displaying birds, and loafing birds with mischief on their minds. A Herring gull might pass over and set up several wheeling Lapwings or a Curlew might see off some rival with a chase and bubbling call setting off a crescendo of Curlews before things settled down once more. Reed buntings were about and Swallows and House martins hunted over the pools. Snipe were quite evident, not with displays but with short low flights to and from nests to feeding spots. It really must be worth a visit here at sunset to hear the evening chorus, Its got to be about as atmospheric as it gets!! The final scope out before leaving reveals something I had not noticed before. In a field on the hillside just past the Twatt turn at the furthest end of the loch I can see several geese feeding and corralled within them at least seven goslings, the first of the year!

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