As the glorious summer moves on and makes way for the darker, colder months – so does the Kinnordy team. This time we are all leaving sadly. My short but sweet contract has finished, Mike’s placement finished last week and he returned to university in beautiful Wales, and the lovely Camille has to move to Loch Leven for the rest of her placement. It is the end of an era as the residential volunteer scheme is not being continued here, and there will be no staff member actually based here.

So there is just time to give one last update, the ospreys have not been seen so have presumably started their long journey south, the Marsh harriers have also been absent, and only the swallows still remain from our summer visitors. The resident red squirrels are still present though, they love the feeders near Gullery hide and on the path towards East hide. There are plenty of roe deer sneaking through the surrounding fields; the kingfisher is still being seen in front of the hides and down the outflow channel near the Kirriemuir path. The leaves on the trees are just starting to change colour, should look glorious soon. The fungi has put on a good show but has gone over a bit now, hopefully there will be a second wind. There is a good number of Lapwing around; over 100 have been spotted in flight. The wildfowl are looking less scruffy now they are coming out of eclipse; saw some very smart gadwalls this morning! And shovelers from swamp hide. We flushed a group of 30 greylag geese this morning whilst out on the canoe, goose season should be upon us soon.

Work wise: you may have seen us out on the canoe lately, we have been hand pulling bog bean to open up the channels and keep the open water open! Mike and Camille and Peter have worked tirelessly on this task. We have also been doing very exciting but challenging large aquatic mammal surveying on the ground and via boat. We were privileged to see inaccessible, secluded parts of the reserve – a real honour.

I feel that I have got to know Kinnordy and its residents very well since I started in May, and would like to thank everyone that has helped at, visited and cared for Kinnnordy. It is a very special place and deserves to be treasured by future generations also. Please continue supporting, falling in love with and visiting Kinnordy! It is with sadness in my heart that I am leaving, but looking forward to new adventures – I will be working with the Rivers and Fisheries Trust Scotland, learning everything about freshwater invasive non native species. I am sure I will visit Kinnordy again though – it’s the kind of place that never leaves you even if you leave it!

Mike, Camille and Fiona, the final Kinnordy team! Au revoir!