Now that the woodland is turning russet and the geese are starting to arrive back at the reserve I am finally getting around to updating you all to what has been happening this summer! And what a busy summer it has been. (Apologies for the delay)
Loch of Kinnordy has been filled with species highs and lows. You may have seen that we installed a nesting raft for the black headed gulls early in the spring. They chose not to nest on the raft, but rather to use it as a toilet. Although this was a little disappointing for those of us who built it, it was not unexpected and we hope that next spring, when it has had a chance to settle and they are more used to it, they will nest on it.
If you visited the reserve earlier in the summer you may have noticed that a pair of Osprey nested within sight of the hides. They failed to produce any young, but with starting to build late and being a young pair this was likely. We know from her leg ring that the female is 6 years old and was born in the Highlands. We hope they will return next year to try again.
On better news the marsh harriers fledged two chicks this year. The juveniles can still be seen around the reserve, so look out for them when you visit.
Another family can also be seen at Kinnordy. The mute swans hatched and raised 5 cygnets and are a regular feature around the bog bean islands. Even as a common species I have loved watching them grow.
Some species highlights for me this summer have been:
Bar headed geese
Osprey by Ted Logan, you can see her white leg ring, which told us when and where she was born.
In July we held an Open day and Bioblitz on the reserve. We were joined by Ken from Saving Scotlands Red Squirrels and many local experts from different biological recording groups and conservation charities. I will tell you more about the exciting results from the Bioblitz in the next blog.
We had a great time at the Open Day and especially enjoyed meeting all the people who turned up. In case you didn’t make it, you missed out on making a solitary bee home, doing a red squirrel treasure trail and meeting some night time visitors! But don’t worry; we will be holding another event next year. So watch this space.
Some of our staff and volunteers at the Open Day
As summer comes to an end we start to concentrate on getting the reserve ready for the wintering wildfowl and also for the 2017 breeding season. And we start to tackle all those tasks that can’t be done when birds are breeding on the reserve. Kinnordy is a eutrophic loch, meaning that it is very rich in nutrients , so excellent plant growing conditions! Part of the designation for the reserve (SSSI) is its open water. We must keep the open water areas open both for the wintering wildfowl and the breeding wetland birds. So you may have seen us out in the water either cutting vegetation, strimming or pulling it out by hand. These are all good methods of removing vegetation, but there is only so much we can do by hand. So this year we had a contractor visit the reserve to remove areas of vegetation with his “Truxor” machine.
Derek and the truxor machine at work infront of Gullery Hide
(L-R) Paul, our new estate worker, Derek Truxor operator and Uwe, site manager stand next to two days worth of vegetation removed by truxor.
We still have a bit of vegetation to remove so if you are visiting on a Thursday for the next few weeks expect to see us looking muddy in drysuits! Do say hello!
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