It comes back and blankets the reserve again! Hopefully the snow shouldn't last for long this time. Finger crossed.

I thought things were almost starting to get back to normal: at the weekend the  whole car park was finally free of snow making it the most accessible it has been in the past two weeks; the paths, although still snowy, were also less tricky to walk on; and I could finally do some bird watching from the hides with success - on Friday the drake smew  was presenting himself really well right outside Gullery hide. However, the majority of the loch is still frozen, especially at Gullery and East - so I think it was very lucky that the smew found a nice little hole in the ice to swim by the reeds at Gullery on Fri! - and if it's not snow covering the path then its water flooding the path - especially at the boardwalk towards Swamp hide. Just typical that its very difficult to get to the hide with the most activity without wellies!

Don't let that put you off though - if you've got your wellies you should be fine. And with the excess of water from last weeks thaw flooding the majority of the reserve (not just the paths) we have seen an influx of whooper swans, greylag geese, mallard, teal, wigeon, goldeneye, tufted duck and goosander.

The feeding station, when filled by myself and a star volunteer, Darell, has busy during the snowy period - Coal tits, great tits, blue tits, chaffinch, greenfinch, brambling, robin, blackbird, redpoll and treecreeper have all been regulars. Not forgetting the red squirrels who love the peanuts left out for them in the peanut boxes.

The Konik Ponies, like myself, haven't seemed to enjoy the snow as much as everyone else. With the reserve being at least a foot deep of snow, my main job has been to do my best to keep the ponies in top shape by supplementing their feeding and giving them some hay for the past few weeks. Although I can't say it's been the easiest job I've had to do at Kinnordy; lugging hay out to the back field where the ponies are in knee deep snow with the snow showers and wind hitting me face on most of the time -it was not an enjoyable experience. Which is why I'm slightly disheartened to see more snow at the start of this week. Oh well, this is what winter weather should be like  so I can't complain. However I can see the sun trying to break through the snow clouds so hope is starting to creep up...

So although the snow might have been a pain in the bum for me, and the poinies, the reserve has still been a hive of activity and is always worth a visit.

Anonymous