A fairly full and busy week on the NNR- in spite of the weather! Monday got off to a great start, with a lovely view of the Great White Egret that has been hanging around since early November. A spectacular bird but surprisingly hard to spot for something 5 feet tall and pure white! These birds are usually found on the continent but a pair bred for the first time in the UK in 2012 and it may be they are moving north due to warming climates. Although it’s unlikely they’ll breed here, they are becoming much more common in the UK.
The weather was pretty non-descript for much of the rest of week. A grey old day hunting for capercaillie signs up the hill resulted in an unusual view of Loch Kinord and Parkin’s Moss from above….but not much else!
The blackbirds have been taking advantage of the wet, unfrozen ground on the lawn to go worming. A blackbird with a very large worm is as good entertainment as you’ll get on a wet Wednesday in January! Not the best picture as it was taken through the window, but you can see where the worm ‘slimed ’the blackbird on its front.
Thursday started damp but gradually warmed into a fairly decent day. We were privileged to have top cameraman John Aitchison filming for ‘Winterwatch” on and around the reserve. This is the season of wildfowl, all the ducks look at their best right now and are starting to display to one another. John was hoping to film the slightly comic and bizarre display of the goldeneye… but you’ll need to tune in from tonight to see if he was successful! All the other ducks were starting to display too, the teal are “proop”-ing and the wigeon are whistling away on the lochs.
Friday started like Monday, with another nice view of the GW egret again, lurking deep in the reeds. This was the undoubted highlight of the day, as the rest of the day involved trying to extract windblown trees from the burn. In the rain. And mud. And more rain, with a side order of rain.There aren’t any pics of this as the camera would have drowned, electronic equipment is more sensitive than the staff! We got some of the windblown trees out but will need to wait for the water to drop to access other areas to get the rest….if it ever stops raining!