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Birding at Loch of Kinnordy

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Old Friday 29th June 2007, 09:15   #1
kinnordyvolunteer
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Birding at Loch of Kinnordy

I started volunteering at Kinnordy over a year ago and really enjoy going up there every weekend i can.
I thought i would star this thread, so anyone who visits the reserve, can post what they have seen etc.
Kinnordy is a shallow loch, surrounded by farmland, in the Angus countryside. Osprey can be seen fishing daily at the moment, although the best time to come and see them is in August when the young have fledged and are being taught how to fish by the parents. Its not unusual to see four birds fishing at the same time.
Other birds seen at the reserve include Marsh Harrier, a colony of black-headed gulls, which have fledglings for the first time in years and many different ducks, warblers etc.
In winter, the reserve welcomes the arrival of geese, Whooper Swans and is a hive of activity all year round.
I am going to be doing some guided walks throughout the summer, so if you are up on holiday, why not come along.
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Old Monday 2nd July 2007, 08:12   #2
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Sunday 1st july. The day started well with both the Osprey and female Marsh Harrier appearing in the first hour. Also present were 24 Coot along with 5 diff broods, Tufted ducks with 4 diff broods, Mute swans with three diff broods, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and lots of Mallards. There have been 10 diff broods from the mallard clan with the latest, with 7 young, only being a week old.
As my foot is still in plaster, i was restricted to the gullery hide for the entire day. In the afternoon, the mist rolled in, cleared and then returned with avengence which made bird watching almost impossible for anything 20 yards or more away.
This year we have also had black-headed gulls nesting in large numbers with over 150 nests. Yesterday i counted 25 youngsters with 16 of those fledged. First time in years this has happened. We reckon its down to the lack of otters this year along with safety in numbers. The Crows haven't been bothering them as much this year either.
Yesterdays list also included willow and sedge warblers, reed buntings and Goldcrests and a sparrowhawk.
Over the hills, just beyond the reserve, i counted 9 buzzards looking for food.
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 08:50   #3
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Also a single Jay @ Kinnordy on 1st july (flew west from East hide @ around 05:00pm).
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 10:32   #4
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Originally Posted by kinnordyvolunteer View Post
This year we have also had black-headed gulls nesting in large numbers with over 150 nests. Yesterday i counted 25 youngsters with 16 of those fledged. First time in years this has happened. We reckon its down to the lack of otters this year along with safety in numbers. The Crows haven't been bothering them as much this year either.
If the black-headed gull colony gets re-established, I wonder if it will encourage the black-necked grebes to return? Kinnordy is a great reserve, but it was even better when I first visited about 15 years ago, and there were 3 or 4 BN grebes and a Slavonian Grebe right in front of the hide.
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 10:35   #5
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We were discussing the grebes on sunday and wondered what if!! Apparently there haven't been any sightings of black necks in scotland this year. Will have to get the gulls to pass the word on!!
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Old Tuesday 3rd July 2007, 22:25   #6
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great crested grebes also bred at this time, with a nest right in front of the gullery hide rearing two chicks,good news about the black headed gulls, i first visited kinnordy about 25 years ago before it was a reserve and they were everywhere
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Old Sunday 8th July 2007, 16:42   #7
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Sunday 8th July
At last,a day of sunshine, well, for most of it anyway.
I arrived at the reserve at 7.15 to the sound of Blackcaps and Goldcrest. I decided to start at th eswamp end and work my way along. Some wrens, robins and willow warblers on the way to the hide. Mallards, coot, moorhen and tufted ducks were present along with 4 Lesser black backs. It wasn't long before the Osprey flew over, while on the far side from the hide, the female Marsh Harrier arrived to hunt.
Off to the gullery hide and i could hear all the gulls that were in full voice. Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting soon joined the list along with the 150+ black headed gulls and a couple of herring gulls. Lapwing flew one way and Oystercatchers the other followed by a single Redshank.
Soon there were three Ospreys fishing, all being mobbed by the gulls. The local nest has three youngsters so the third adult was probably from another nest near by.
A Coot showed off her new family of three and was for ever chasing after the young mallards that were close by.
Along at the east hide, more mallards, tufted duck, wigeon and teal were in attendance. All three broods of mute swans could also be seen at the east end. Other birds for the day included Shoveler, Gadwall, Ruddy duck, Great Spotted W'pecker, Swift, Swallow, Sand and House martins,Buzzards, pied and grey wagtails.
A really good day. Lots of birds to see and lots of visitors in attendance.
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Old Tuesday 10th July 2007, 20:10   #8
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A lovely afternoon so met with a friend at Kinnordy.

As you say Darrel, nice to see all the young Black Headed Gulls there - most of the adults seemed to be up on the hill where a farmer was sowing seed or something.

Lots of Coot and saw a pair with 3 young ones.

At around 5.45 an Osprey came over made a few unsuccessful attempts to catch a fish then, whilst watching it in the sky realised there was another above him. They both got a fish eventually and one made off South over the hide, the other Westwards.

A few minutes after this another one arrived quickly caught a fish and made off more Easterly.

There was a couple from Yorkshire in the hide with me and this was their first Ospreys of the trip - so well pleased.

As we were walking back to the car park a pair of Bullfinch flew into one of the trees.

D
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Old Tuesday 10th July 2007, 21:49   #9
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i visited kinnordy between 11.454and 12.45 and it looks like i picked the wrong time, it was very quiet,not an osprey in sight , there was a couple of gentlemen visting who told me they used to come here fishing on the fly nearly 50 years ago, they commented on how low the water was and knew the names of all the farms surrounding kinnordy, they also asked where have all the gulls went, i first visited kinnordy about 20 years ago it would have been good if records from 50 years ago were kept or even better pics, on my one hour visit i saw the family of coots delia mentioned at the gullery hide, plus a single little grebe fishing just to the right of the coots
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...ser/cootf1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...er/lgrebe1.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...er/lgrebe3.jpg

http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d9...er/lgrebe4.jpg
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 09:07   #10
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Hi folks. I plan to visit Loch Kinnordy a week on saturday with a friend who has never seen a marsh harrier before. Does anyone know if this species is regular at the Loch or if sightings are more sporadic. I live in Fife and can't think of a site closer by. I heard they were present in tay marshes but access and close sightings were impractical there.Any advice greatly appreciated. Cheers, Mark.
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 09:27   #11
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Hi folks. I plan to visit Loch Kinnordy a week on saturday with a friend who has never seen a marsh harrier before. Does anyone know if this species is regular at the Loch or if sightings are more sporadic. I live in Fife and can't think of a site closer by. I heard they were present in tay marshes but access and close sightings were impractical there.Any advice greatly appreciated. Cheers, Mark.
Hi Mark

They are fairly regular at Kinnordy at this time of year, but I didn't see one yesterday - I think you're just lucky if one is there when you are.

Search the fence posts on the far side of the loch (to the left of the lone pine in the middle of the reed bed) and all the bushes towards the East end.

Good luck

D
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 12:26   #12
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Much obliged Delia. Mark.
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 14:58   #13
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Welcome Register from a fellow-Fifer.

Marsh Harrier whilst frequent at Kinnordy is also erratic & unpredictable there. Marsh Harriers pass through Fife on passage (I have had passage birds through Valleyfield lagoons in 3 out of the last 4 years but again its the luck of the draw).

The Tay reedbeds are your best bet. Take the M90 to Perth then head over the Tay on the Perth-Dundee road. Take the turn off for Errol & carry on until you reach a right-hand turn signed to Port Allen (about 1km short of Errol) > drive down to the road end & park carefully on the grassy verge just before the cottage. Walk down past the cottage & over a small bridge under which runs a tidal burn > take the footpath to the left just past this point (passes along the long axis of a strip of woodland). After 10-15 minutes walking this path opens up at points allowing an elevated scan of the reedbeds & eventually it reaches another small cottage by a small road to the south of Errol -scanning from here should give views of Marsh Harrier as well as Bearded Tits. Young harriers should be taking to the wing soon & broods of Beardies will also be about.
Here is a link to some images taken by a friend at this spot: www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/80170662
www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/77996552
www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/77790662
www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/77791018
-images taken by John Anderson (Crailbirder).
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 17:18   #14
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A female Marsh Harrier has been visiting the reserve regularly for the past 6 or 7 weeks and tends to hunt along at the west end of the reserve. I'm there on a sunday, all day, so i suppose i've got a better chance of seeing it.
I visited the reserve this morning for an hour and didn't see her. The Ospreys were out fishing and there were plenty of other birds to see. You can see the Ospreys at any of the local lochs. I saw one at Lintrathen and Montrose basin today.
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 17:40   #15
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I've just got back from Kinnordy (erm... having to return there today to collect some lost property)

The Marsh Harrier was seen well this afternoon at the west end.

Osprey and Buzzard present too.

A good day again

D
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 18:38   #16
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I did wonder whose property it was!!!
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 18:56   #17
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The Tay reedbeds are your best bet. Take the M90 to Perth then head over the Tay on the Perth-Dundee road. Take the turn off for Errol & carry on until you reach a right-hand turn signed to Port Allen (about 1km short of Errol) > drive down to the road end & park carefully on the grassy verge just before the cottage. Walk down past the cottage & over a small bridge under which runs a tidal burn > take the footpath to the left just past this point (passes along the long axis of a strip of woodland). After 10-15 minutes walking this path opens up at points allowing an elevated scan of the reedbeds & eventually it reaches another small cottage by a small road to the south of Errol -scanning from here should give views of Marsh Harrier as well as Bearded Tits. Young harriers should be taking to the wing soon & broods of Beardies will also be about.
Thanks for this Steve - I've often wondered how to get to the mythical Tay reedbeds. Slightly off-topic I know, but does anyone know whether the RSPB are going to develop any more formal visiting arrangements?
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Old Wednesday 11th July 2007, 19:32   #18
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I think they would like to in the future, but at the moment they are trying to get all the different farmers on their side for doing the work that they want to do. You can arrange visits with Alan Leitch at the RSPB Perth office. Our local group usually goes along once a year with Alan, who has to inform the farmers about the visits.
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Old Thursday 12th July 2007, 14:34   #19
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Welcome Register from a fellow-Fifer.

Marsh Harrier whilst frequent at Kinnordy is also erratic & unpredictable there. Marsh Harriers pass through Fife on passage (I have had passage birds through Valleyfield lagoons in 3 out of the last 4 years but again its the luck of the draw).

The Tay reedbeds are your best bet. Take the M90 to Perth then head over the Tay on the Perth-Dundee road. Take the turn off for Errol & carry on until you reach a right-hand turn signed to Port Allen (about 1km short of Errol) > drive down to the road end & park carefully on the grassy verge just before the cottage. Walk down past the cottage & over a small bridge under which runs a tidal burn > take the footpath to the left just past this point (passes along the long axis of a strip of woodland). After 10-15 minutes walking this path opens up at points allowing an elevated scan of the reedbeds & eventually it reaches another small cottage by a small road to the south of Errol -scanning from here should give views of Marsh Harrier as well as Bearded Tits. Young harriers should be taking to the wing soon & broods of Beardies will also be about.
Here is a link to some images taken by a friend at this spot: www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/80170662
www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/77996552
www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/77790662
www.pbase.com/crail_birder/image/77791018
-images taken by John Anderson (Crailbirder).
Cheers for the advice Stevie. The thing is, my friend is confined to a wheelchair. Is the route you have mentioned served by a reasonably navigable path? We have taken that chair through some unbelievable rough territory in the past in search of good birding spots, but things like stiles, especially wet ground, or extremely narrow paths bring us to a halt. Cheers, Mark.
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Old Thursday 12th July 2007, 15:36   #20
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I don't know about the tay reed beds, but Kinnordy has wheelchair access to two of its hides. The gullery hide, which is the middle hide and the swamp hide at the west of the reserve, where the Marsh Harrier is usually seen. Just move the bench out of the way so you can get right up to the windows.
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Old Thursday 12th July 2007, 16:04   #21
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cheers Darrell. Most formal reserves have made great advances in accessability in the last few years. Glad to hear Loch of Kinnordy is one of them. Some places I suppose its just not practical though.Mark
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Old Thursday 12th July 2007, 16:34   #22
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Hi Register,
Aye it would be possible to get very close by car allowing use of a rough but negotiable track for the last 100-200 metres. I can't remember the exact turn-off but halfway through Errol on the right-hand side (if driving west to east) there is a turning which leads down a tarmac track to the entrance to the second cottage I mention above. If your vehicle is smallish it should be possible to park here without obstruction -a 'blue-badge' on display will prevent any critiscism from locals (but you will be near the vehicle should it need to be moved anyway).
The reedbeds are easily viewable from here -you may have to sit awhile before something interesting appears but for Marsh Harriers & Bearded Tits ( AND a few Reed Warblers!!) in Scotland it's got to be worth while.

If only the RSPB could buy up & flood a few of the local fields to create freshwater (rather than brackish) reedbeds then perhaps they could bring Bittern to us jocks!!!
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Old Friday 13th July 2007, 09:06   #23
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Thanks Steve. Bearded tit is a bird I haven't seen yet so I will definitely be paying this site a visit at some point. Some cracking pictures your friend took by the way. Cheers, Mark.
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Old Friday 13th July 2007, 15:12   #24
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I have been at the reserve today for a few hours and it was really nice and warm with no rain either. Marsh Harrier came in four times while i was there so lots of visitors got great views of it hunting along at the swamp end. Six Golden Plover flew over head, as the Osprey came into do a spot of fishing. There are still a few black headed gull chicks that are thinking about flying but not quite getting there.
The new family of Coots are thriving while i spotted a new family of Moorhens with two chicks that are slightly bigger than the coots. The other new family i saw today was a pair of Little Grebes with two youngsters. We weren't sure if they had bred this year or not.
Water Rails could be heard almost continuously either side of the Gullery hide but weren't prepared to show face. They could be heard along at the East hide aswell.
Lots of Mallards, Coots, Moorhens, Tufted duck, Mute swans, Reed Bunting, Willow and Sedge warblers,Goldcrest, Blackcap, Swift, Swallows and House Martins. No sign today of the Ruddy ducks tho.
Tomorrow its the local Kirriemuir show, where we are going to have a marquee, so if anyone is in the area, please pop in and say hello.
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Old Saturday 14th July 2007, 00:12   #25
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The show will have cleared up by sunday, right? Me and 4getmenot were planning on coming up on Sunday, but really can't be bothered with super busy times (see the tayside birding thread when we made the mistake of visiting vane farm on an open day!)
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