Sorry  that I haven’t updated you all recently, I had a few days off last week while my family were visiting. What a lovely area to explore! I have now seen Dunnottar castle,  RSPB Fowlsheugh (complete with puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, guillemots and fulmars), Glamis castle, Scone palace, Dunkeld hermitage, Pitlochry and the Queen’s view, Loch Leven heritage trail and the Trossachs National Park!  Phew!

Back to work – many changes have taken place over the last few weeks, we said goodbye to another residential volunteer, Mike Andrews. Mike worked very hard over the last few months to keep the place ticking over until I was appointed. So a huge thank you for all of your help Mike and all the best for the future! We have a new face on the reserve now: Simon Ward our latest residential volunteer. He will be with us until August and will be introducing himself on here very soon.

There are also many new wildlife residents on the reserve, as the breeding season is finally getting underway. Shoveler ducklings were spotted by our eagle eyed volunteer Darrell over the weekend, along with many cygnets. Mallard ducklings are abundant and growing quickly. As you walk along our wooded trails, you will hear blue tit chicks chirping form the nest boxes, and you may see great tit fledglings too. The tree creeper family have been making contact calls to each other along from East hide also. We are still awaiting the arrival of the marsh harrier juveniles – we have not seen them yet anyway! The same goes for the local osprey pair! I personally cannot wait to see them at Kinnordy, after having seen osprey chicks at other nearby reserves recently! Things have gone quiet on the Garganey front too, if you have seen them over the last week please let us know. They can be quite elusive though so fingers crossed they are still out there. The resident lawnmowers have also been busy as there is a very sweet highland calf on the reserve now!

 

However I have saved the most exciting news until last: a spotted crake was heard for the first time this year today! Simon and I heard one calling at lunchtime today, very unusual as they are normally active in the evening! They make a noise described as whiplash, but Simon described it much better as “someone sliding a rubber shoe on a piece of glass” Brilliant! If you listen out for them you may be lucky enough to hear this odd noise too. This is a rare bird in the UK with only 73 breeding males! So we are extremely pleased that it has chosen to make Kinnordy its home!

Spotted Crake image courtesy of RSPB images Michael Gore.

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