Sunday, 17 July 2016

Loch Leven RSPB Reserve

It was a dull and cool day today but we didn't let that put us off our plan to go up to Loch Leven RSPB Reserve with Crafty Green Boyfriend's Mum and brother. It's a long time since any of us have visited the reserve! Plenty has changed since I was last there! The wildflower beds round the centre (complete with small pond and bird feeders) are lovely at the moment

We were delighted to see this family of swallows hanging out in the eaves, the fledglings just emerged from the nest and been fed regularly by the parents (the picture is poor quality as the light is very low under the eaves on a dull day like today)

We walked part of the way round Loch Leven,

The trail is an easy walk and very pleasantly laid out

part of the trail goes past some beautiful wildflower meadows,

with orchids (common spotted orchids I think though I didn't check the leaves for spots)

and ragged robin - not the best photo in the world, but it is a lovely (and generally rare) flower

and then the trail passes through a lovely area of birch wood

We made friends with some horses,

this one was happy to pose for a profile shot

The air was full of mosquitoes, which were very irritating for us, but kept the swifts very happy. I didn't get photos of the swifts, but Crafty Green Boyfriend did and I hope to add those to this blog post very soon! The mosquitoes weren't the only insects around, I was pleased to get my first ever photo of a footballer hoverfly (Helophilus sp)

and this is a Cheilosia illustrata hoverfly
Our only complaint was that the coffee shop shut at 4pm! So we couldn't get a drink before heading back to Edinburgh!


sage said...

What a beautiful spot. I didn't think the UK had mosquitoes. Although I know better, I remember two "Brits" who hiked the Appalachian Trail the summer I did would often complain about how they didn't understand why people lived in a country where something was always biting them (and then they'd insist there were few insects in Britain).

Rabbits' Guy said...

A small price for a fine day! I can see it now here in US of A - a football team - the Harrisburg Hoverflies!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Sage - I don't think the Brits you met came from Scotland - we have midges here and they're worse than mosquitoes for biting!

Rabbits' Guy - what a great name for a football team!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Had no idea ragged robin was uncommon, see a fair bit of it next to the cycle path here

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hi Simon - maybe ragged robin is only uncommon in Scotland!

Lowcarb team member said...

Well, I couldn't see the mosquitoes!
I enjoyed all your lovely photo's.

All the best Jan

Magyar said...

That balance of nature:

mosquitos feed
on every sunset deer
the bats