Wildlife at Loch of the Lowes:
The loch this week has seen a further increase in juvenile Great crested grebe numbers as well as the number of little grebes. Canada geese are also a common sight on the loch and as we approach mid September we can begin to expect some additional early skanes of geese and other migrant waterfowl arriving for their over-wintering spell in Scotland. Tufted duck and Mallards continue to be seen in good numbers with the occasional Goldeneye among the flocks, while Cormorants, Mute swans and Grey herons have been a rarer sight this week.
The bird feeders have once again regained their former pride of place at the viewing station at the visitor centre this week now that the outbreak of trichomoniasis has subsided. As well as the usual sightings of Chaffinch, Blue tits, Great tits, Coal tits and of course Red squirrels, Siskins have once again returned to the feeders. In addition, Jays have increased in number while Great spotted woodpecker, Tree creepers and Wrens have also been seen. Remember that the feeding station can be viewed online via the webcam from Loch of the Lowes.
Conservation work and sightings on the Perthshire reserves:
The conservation team this week has continued its invasive species control on both shingle islands. The increased rainfall over the past few days has resulted in a rise in the Tay River and subsequently, much of the surrounding woodland around the shingle islands have flooded. Much of the Himalayan balsam has now been removed from these areas which will bode well for the continued diversity of the native resident flora and fauna. Low flying Buzzards were a particular high point this week on these reserves.
The team were also busy this week maintaining the wildflower meadow at our Keltneyburn reserve, removing the encroaching scrub and small trees from the woodland areas of the reserve. This will ensure the continued diversity within the meadow and encourage the various species of invertebrate which depend upon the wildflowers.
The good spells of weather earlier in the week meant a resurgence in the number of butterflies seen at our Keltneyburn reserve. Among these were a multitude of Peacocks, Red admirals, Tortoise shells, Common blues and Green veined white butterflies as well as Commas. In addition to a host of butterflies, Black darters and Emerald damselflies were seen around the wetland area of the reserve. Several amphibians and reptiles were also seen around the rocky areas within the meadow including common lizards and frogs.
Perthshire Reserves Conservation Team