Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Birds on Linlithgow Loch

It was a wild and windy day today but we headed off to Linlithgow Loch hoping to catch the great crested grebes in their courtship dances! And we weren't disappointed (though they were slightly half hearted about it and probably won't build up to a crescendo for another week or so). There were at least six pairs of grebes on the Loch, two of which were displaying.



The Loch was covered in coots (see this one showing off its fancy feet)


A few moorhens too, competing with the coots in the fancy feet competition.

A flock of over twenty cormorants flew in and congregated around an in a tree on an island that we discovered is called (unsurprisingly enough) Cormorant Island.

There were around 20 pochards - beautiful ducks that we don't see that often. Then we were delighted to see a female smew. And this lovely duck that we were uncertain whether it was a female mandarin or a female wood duck, but Birding Lothian assure me its a female wood duck and she's been on the loch since last autumn - escaped from a collection as this is very definitely not a native bird!

So all in all, brilliant birding! Thanks Crafty Green Boyfriend for all these photos! I'll post some of my photos in the next day or so.


For Nature Notes and World Bird Wednesday



As ever, text in red contains hyperlinks that will take you to other websites where you can find out more and photos should show up larger if you click on them.

18 comments:

marly youmans said...

Lovely outing--and very amusing with the half-hearted courtship and fancy feet.

Ms Sparrow said...

Once again, some great photos of your "exotic"' birds. We also have coots around here (also called mud hens) and wood ducks are common (ours nest in tree hollows).
I suppose it's inevitable that the common names for birds would be in use everywhere.

Dartford Warbler said...

Lovely photos. Courting grebes are amazing to watch.

Carol Steel 5050 said...

What wonderful photos! Thanks for sharing your walk and all the intriguing birds you saw.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Busy bird times!

Rambling Woods said...

Oh my goodness those grebes are amazing..I am going to look that up.. Yes, that is a female wood duck and I hope you get to see the very colorful male...Nice to see you in Nature Notes Juliet....Have a great week...Michelle

eileeninmd said...

Lovely collection of birds. I love the crested grebes. They are cool looking. The female wood duck is pretty. Wonderful photos, thanks for sharing.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - those escapes can be a real nightmare!

Nice set of pictures.

Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

the cuby poet said...

Great Crested Grebes in their courting dance must have been a treat to see. Coots, Moorhens really have very fancy feet.

Dianne said...

I love the coot's fancy feet!!

Karen M said...

Great pictures. Must have been a fun trip.

Pat said...

Great shots!

Titus said...

a) I've just realised I can't tell the difference between a coot and a moorhen.

b) Husband is always spotting pochards, and I never believe him.

c) Lovely shots, thanks!

Andrew said...

Beautiful birds to see....

bunnits said...

Coots! I love coots. And they look so silly on land. I got some photos of them at Ditto Landing last week and a bit of video of them diving. Also saw grebes but no good photos.

Michelle May said...

They are so beautiful.

shoreacres said...

It was nice to see the moorhen and coot together for comparison. We don't have the moorhen, although they do come around in Louisiana, to our east.

We do have grebes - the Western and the "Least", which is a tiny thing. I've never seen any of them do anything but float around. It may be that they go back north before mating, as they aren't here in the summer.

Always wonderful photos!

Barb said...

It looks awfully cold where you are. Nice pics.