Sunday 24 March 2019

Great Crested Grebes and other Sights at Linlithgow Loch

Every year at around this time, Crafty Green Boyfriend and I visit Linlithgow Loch (a short train journey away from Edinburgh) to hopefully see great crested grebes performing their wonderful courtship dance.

In 2013 we had great luck seeing the grebes dancing in early March (see this blog post).

So how did we fare yesterday?

Well, when we arrived at the loch we were greeted by this friendly coot, showing off its feet, which are beautifully lobed (unlike the feet of ducks, geese and swans which are webbed)

Several male tufted ducks were swimming round, showing off their tufts

and fairly early on in our walk we had the first reasonably close view of a great crested grebe

but when we got to the reed bed where the grebe courtship dances mostly seem to take place we saw that the birds were already building nests! We watched this pair for a while and were quite impressed by the size of the sticks (or reeds?) that they were moving around (if you click on the photo to enlarge it you may be able to see that the grebe on the right is carrying a very long stick in its beak)

I've never seen grebes building their nests before so this was very interesting! And further round the loch we saw this pair of great crested grebes performing a half hearted courtship dance

It was also very interesting to see these small fish (sticklebacks? minnows? I don't know my fish very well)

They were swimming around quite freely but every time a bird approached the fish all dashed into the safety of the nearby reeds, which was fascinating to watch.

There were a lot of lesser celandines in bloom around the loch, including this field

And just near the end of the walk we saw lots of mole hills

signs that this little creature is busily tunnelling near the loch.


eileeninmd said...

Hello, love the swans and grebes! Great birds and sightings. Enjoy your day! Have a happy new week!

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see your photographs from your visit to Linlithgow Loch.

All the best Jan

Gabrielle Bryden said...

wow, I would love to see a mole :D

Bob Bushell said...

Fabulous Great Crested Grebe, love it, great photos.