30 Days Wild 2022 – Day 2 – RSPB Loch Leven

Day 2 of #30DaysWild 2022 saw us explore the newly renovated RSPB Loch Leven visitor centre and the reserve.

It’s been a while since I last visited RSPB Loch Leven so it was good to be back. The visitor centre is great with a cafe overlooking the reserve, so we started with a bite to eat before exploring.

The centre and stairs leading down to the new underpass are decorated with the most beautiful nature inspired murals designed by Chris Rutterford. The stairs are particularly breathtaking! As you walk down them you can see there must be something painted on the steps but it’s not until you reach the bottom you can truly see the amount of work and talent.

Chris Rutterford mural
Chris Rutterford mural
Chris Rutterford mural in the toilets

Here are some photos from around the outside of the visitor centre.

A Walk Around the Reserve – the Wetland Trail

To access the Wetland Trail you walk through the visitor centre, down the mural steps and through the new underpass. Then follow the path. You can see a map of the reserve and all their trails on the RSPB Loch Leven website.

The Wetland Trail isn’t particularly long at 800m but it does feature 3 hides which you can go and watch the pools and grasslands from.

Gillman Hide

This hide will be the first one you come to, just next to the dipping ponds. It’s a good sized hide with plenty of windows and seating. Robin particularly enjoyed looking at the bird species posters that were up to help him identify what we could see from the window. Armed with his tick list we got to work to see what we could identify.

Waterston Hide

After the Gillman Hide follow the path around to the Waterston Hide. You will pass a wildflower meadow and plenty of bees and butterflies. I saw lots of green veined white butterflies and followed one for a few minutes while I tried to photograph it. The hide is very similar to the first one but a bit smaller.

Carden Hide

This is the smallest of the three hides but also the one closest to all the action. Here we got really good views of black headed gulls nesting on a grassy island, dive bombing anything that got too close to them. There were multiple families of Greylag geese swimming around in lines. Parents at the start and end with their young goslings in the middle, it reminded me of when you see kids on school excursions with teachers at the front and back of the lines.

On the way heading back to the reserve we spotted some more of our smaller reserve members. Robin was particularly in awe of the wolf spider he spotted on the pathway and was worried that passers by may accidentally stand on it.

Lastly when heading back I stopped to watch the bird nests in the trees, I didn’t have to wait long until I saw a blue tit parent going back and forth to feed it’s chicks ❤️

What we spotted from our visit

  • Moorhen
  • Coot
  • Shovler
  • Grey Heron being chased off by a protective Lapwing parent
  • Roe deer (manage to get a pic just in time!)
  • Greylag Geese
  • Blackbird
  • Magpie
  • Dragonflies
  • Wolf spider
  • Ladybird
  • Green veined white butterflies
  • Swallows
  • Black headed bull
  • Goldfinches
  • Redpoll
  • Blue tit feeding chicks

We really enjoyed out visit to RSPB Loch Leven and will no doubt be back to visit again soon, after all we still have 5 other trails to explore!

Camilla – Erika

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