Trip reports

Howe of Fife Lochs

Howe of Fife Lochs
Nuthatch: Wendy Irons

Monday, 9 March 2020

After some discussion as we gathered in Crichton St it was agreed to alter our itinerary and head for Scone Palace (after last month's cancelled visit due to the stormy weather) and see if we could spot some hawfinches. We stopped for a short walk at Quarry Mill first as Scone Palace didn't open till 10am. Here we got a lovely view of a kingfisher perched on a low branch looking for prey and, while we were watching it a grey wagtail flew upstream briefly. We also picked up quite a few song bird species including robin, song thrush, blue, great and coal tit, wren, chaffinch and blackbird.
On arriving at Scone Palace we headed down the main path admiring the snowdrop display while looking and listening for hawfinch and nuthatch. There was a chorus of other birds singing (tits, robins, song thrushes and chaffinches) which made it a bit difficult to pick out the hawfinches little 'ticks' but eventually we found some and everyone got a reasonable view of them, plus a couple of nuthatches (which were oddly silent). Just as we were heading back to the cars the sleety rain came on quite heavily so we were just in time.
Our next stop was Loch Leven for lunch in the hide. The weather here was quite unpleasant with frequent bursts of heavy rain and sleet plus gusty winds. However, we were fine in the hide and managed to add quite a few species with highlights being pochards, barnacle geese, a great-crested grebe, whooper swans, re-breasted mergansers and two little egrets. On the feeders were greenfinches, goldfinches and tree sparrows.
After lunch the weather seemed to clear up a bit although at our next stop, Rossie Bog, there was an icy wind. Graham managed to show us all a solitary pintail through his telescope amongst the wigeon. Next was Angle Pond and Letham Pools but the only species we managed to add to our list were buzzard and skylark.
Finally, we decided to try a new site called The Wilderness. Although the only species added here was a shoveler, this site looked as though it could a good place to visit in the spring. So we plan to go back!

Species seen (56):
Quarry Mill: blue tit, great tit, coal tit, robin, chaffinch, song thrush, blackbird, woodpigeon, mallard, wren, kingfisher, grey wagtail.
Scone Palace: jackdaw, mistle thrush, nuthatch, hawfinch, collared dove, great spotted woodpecker.
Loch Leven: greenfinch, goldfinch, tree sparrow, barnacle goose, mute swan, whooper swan, pochard, tufted duck, gadwall, coot, moorhen, black-headed gull, common gull, great black-backed gull, lesser black-backed gull, curlew, oystercatcher, dunnock, greylag goose, pink-footed goose, great crested grebe, goldeneye, lapwing, little grebe, meadow pipit, cormorant, red-breasted merganser, little egret, pied wagtail, teal.
Rossie Bog: wigeon, pintail, starling.
Angle Pond: goosander
Letham Pools: buzzard, skylark.
The Wilderness: shoveler