A nice autumnal day can beat a great summers day.
One of the nicest ways to view the reserve at this time of year is to head out early-ish in the morning to see the woodland carpeted in dew crystallised spiderwebs and hopefully take in some tranquil views – such as this from Thursday when Loch Kinord was limpid calm and an intensely blue sky today at Parkin’s Moss.
If you are lucky you may see noisy flocks of pink footed geese flying overhead. Large numbers of pink-footed geese arrive in the UK from their breeding grounds in Greenland and Iceland. Thousands spend the winter on the eastern coast of Scotland. These birds start to arrive from early to mid September, with numbers increasing up to mid October.
During the autumn and early winter mornings, pink-footed geese move from these roost sites to stubble fields, where they will feed, returning late afternoon. The birds’ ”yak” calls can carry for several miles on still days.
Parkin’s Moss is the stage of mating Common Hawker dragonflies just now. Built like small helicopters and measuring up to 7.5 cm you can hear these dragonflies rustle on the wing. Watch for them hunting woodland rides at dusk too. I watched riveted as a common hawker chased down a red admiral butterfly.
The near miss referred to in the title was not actually a miss but an event – a small wildfire that burned for several days- and could have had even more serious consequences. I call it a near miss because we nearly missed it as it occurred in a strangely isolated and inaccessible corner on Loch Kinord. Spotted by an eagle eyed colleague on Tuesday but we think originating from a campfire on Sunday it took 2 days to bring under proper control, causing an area of damage approximately 10m x 20m at a depth of 5 inches. An abandoned camp fire is to blame.
Fire is a risk at any time of the year and as a woodland reserve predominately we have a massive fuel load at its disposal with potentially devastating consequences.
As we head into a weekend set fair weather wise I know that we shall be teeming with visitors here to walk, cycle, kayak, fish, wild-camp, picnic, barbecue and sunbathe. Can we please ask all visitors to be fire sensitive and if you must, raise it above vegetation, never leave it unattended, extinguish it fully and dismantle it to leave no trace.
On that note we are now fully in the swing of our car-park resurfacing and half of the car park is currently unavailable to vehicles. The lower section of the Burn O’ Vat trail is closed in preparation of a future toilet refurbishment but the Burn O Vat itself is still completely accessible from the upper path. Please bear with us and be considerate to other motorists. If you find us full there are a few alternative places to park and still access our trails.
There are 3 lay-bys within a mile of the visitor centre which can accommodate up to 4 vehicles each on the B9119. Alternatively we have another smaller car park at New Kinord which can be accessed via the A97 – look out for the small brown sign with New kinord written on it at the end of the access tack -and this is a really nice way to walk the Loch Kinord and little Ord trails. There is also a public car park within Dinnet village beside the Loch Kinord hotel with a connecting path that leads into the reserve.