Firstly, apologies for the lack of blog last week – afraid I was in bed with a cold or being rained on all week, neither of which was particularly photogenic or newsworthy. My return to work has seen a fairly mild, damp week, with misty mornings and what is starting to feel like waaaaaaay too much rain. In between the showers, the lochs have been flat calm, with lovely reflections.
Doing a bird survey one morning was interesting- the fog hadn’t quite lifted and the birds were drifting in and out of the mist like ghosts.
It was nice – and unusual – to see a little grebe on the loch. Although these are common wetland birds, we don’t often see them here.
I could hear, but not see, teal “proop-proop”-ing all round Loch Davan. However, when you see how flooded the loch edges are, it’s easy to work out where the teal are hiding! This area is not normally this wet, and the loch itself lies beyond the far edge of the vegetation. As well as providing great habitat for wildlife, wetlands like these are important for people. Why? Well, they store water- if there wasn’t a wetland here, all that water would wind up in a river, and then perhaps in someone’s living room! Wetlands are a vital part of flood control.
There haven’t been many geese on the lochs lately they are spoilt for choice for wet areas to roost at the moment. But we are still seeing large flocks of greylag flying over the reserve.
A small group of cormorants have taken up their winter residence on Castle Island. They roost here and whitewash the birches with their droppings, to the point the trees look permanently frosted during the winter. They’re not the best of fliers though….when they take off low over the water, they will often repeatedly dip a wing tip into the loch until they gather momentum. You keep expecting them to crash!
The waterfall in the Vat is looking spectacular just now, but it’s hard to get into Vat itself due to the force of water. You need wellies to even contemplate getting into the Vat right now!
Finally, if you are visiting Burn o Vat this weekend, please mind the puddle in the car park. The aforementioned waaaaay too much rain has led to a small flood here and there is nowhere to drain the water to….so we’re stuck with it until the weather dries up.