Volunteers Diary

Sunday 9th September.

Its 2 weeks since i was here last and there have been alot of changes in that time. There are homes for lots of insects and beasties, the path between the two bridges has now been gravelled and the whole place is looking great. Not that it doesn't always!!

I didn't expect to see the Harriers today, but the female was present all day long for visitors to see, hunting over the reed beds and along at both ends of the reserve. I went for a walk round to the lilly pond to find willow warblers chasing each other. something else i didn't think i was going to see!! It was a lovely day and lots of darters and butterflies were also out, especially at the lilly pond.

The variety of ducks is starting to build up again but alot of them are still in eclipse. Shoveler, wigeon, teal, gadwall and mallards are all present and waders included Lapwing 40+, Snipe 22 and Curlew 2.

Of the smaller birds:- Siskins, goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch,bullfinch, long tailed tits, blue tits, great tits, coal tits, wren, robin, goldcrest, treecreeper, meadow pipits, reed bunting, song thrush and blackbird.

Swallows and House martins were also present throughout the day.

Other birds seen today:- Heron, Cormorant, buzzard, common gulls, crows, woodpigeon and pheasant



  • Sunday 16th September

    First bird i saw this morning was the female marsh harrier as she hunted over the reed beds. She then settled on the willow scrub, where she stayed for the next hour. She then went off to to some hunting, but was soon back, being chased by 40+ jackdaws. She appeared off and on during the day but not as frequent as last week.

    3 Whooper swans visited the reserve this morning but didn't stay very long. Quite early i think, though i did see 4 at loch leven on friday.

    I had a look along at the swamp end and saw a little grebe, something i hadn't seen here for a long while. They have bred here before but i hadn't seen one for over a year. Lots of swallows and house martins around along with the odd sand martin. The swallows still seem to be feeding youngsters under the gullery hide.

    I went for a walk round to the lilly pond and found a tree down, across the path, between the two bridges. It had been really windy and still was quite strong as we walked on. Near the lilly pond we saw alot of bird life. Whitethroat, chiffchaff, willow warbler, meadow pipits 50+, pied wagtail, goldfinch 15 plus 4 linnets.

    The numbers of duck are really increasing. last week we had 6 teal and today we counted 54. Shoveler, wigeon and shoveler are also on the up. The numbers of snipe are really good. We had one group of 22 flying around while there were still another 7 or 8 on the ground. They seem to be enjoying the muddy area, opposite the gullery hide.

    Kestrel, buzzard, sparrowhawk, water rail, 500+ common gulls, siskin, long tailed tits and coal tits were amongst other birds seen. A few red squirrels were also to be seen helping themselves to peanuts.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    Sunday 23rd September

    A very cold but sunny morning greeted me at kinnordy. I wish i had gloves with me, but after a while it got warmer, especially when going for a walk in the sunshine. I had been on the reserve yesterday afternoon for a couple of hours and it was really quiet after the morning closure. I did see my first goosander of the autumn and there were also lots of smaller birds at the feeding station area.

    Today i was in the gullery hide for quite a while with no ducks out front. Most of them had congregated over towards the east side of the loch. 31 mute swans plus 9 cygnets, 2 female goosanders, coot, mallard, gadwall, teal, shoveler, tufted duck, 3 herons, cormorant, lots of common gulls and greylag geese.

    There were a few skeines of pink footed geese spotted flying overhead throughout the day. At one point, the snipe and ducks took to the air as the female marsh harrier appeard over the willow scrub in front of the gullery hide. I certainly didn't expect to see her again this week, what with the shooting yesterday and the drop in temperature overnight.

    Buzzard, sparrowhawk, lapwing, skylarks, pheasant, jackdaws, siskin, long tailed tits, treecreepers, great spotted woodpeckers, jay, meadow pipits, goldfinch, redpoll and whitethroat were also seen at various parts of the reserve during our time in the hides and during our walk.

    Alot of birds around the feeding station once the feeders were filled for everyone to see. On my way to the feeding station i heard the sound of what can only discribed, as someone stepping on a large branch and snapping it!! No one else was around and no deer either. What could it be?? I got to the feeding station to see a red squirrel quickly climbing a tree, with one of the feeders on the ground with spilt food all around!!! I filled his peanut feeder for him so he was happy once more.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    Sunday 30th September

    The end of another month already!! The weather was true to its forecast with rain in the morning and clearing up later in the day. It really poured down at times, so apart from a short look along at the swamp hide, i spent the rest of the day in the gullery hide, protected from the rain and the strong winds. The afternoon was brighter but still very windy.

    Birds around included 130+ Golden Plover, lapwing 40+, Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufties, Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Buzzard, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Siskin, Treecreeper, Bullfinch, Long Tailed Tits, Goldcrests, Mute swans 31 + 9 Cygnets, Reed Bunting, Redpoll, Mistle Thrushes 7, Snipe 8.

    We also saw 4 Canada Geese arrive, stay for 10 mins and then leave again. the red Squirrel was also very busy all day, collecting nuts, running off and burying them, then coming back for more from both of its feeders.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    Sunday 14th and Monday 15th October

    I spent a few hours on the reserve both yesterday and today and they were completely different days as far as weather is concerned. Yesterday it was wind and rain while today it was sun and cold temps.

    The birds were almost the same with mallard, teal, shoveler, gadwall, wigeon, goldeneye, coot, greylags, heron, cormorant, buzzard, kestrel and mute swans all present.

    The feeding station was very busy once i had filled the feeders. Chaffinch, great tit, blue tit, coal tit, great spotted woodpecker and treecreepers were all present along with red squirrels.

    I saw my first redwings of this autumn yesterday. They were in with a group of mistle thrushes. 10 mistle thrushes and 18 redwing yesterday and 15 thrushes and 8 redwing today.

    The reserve is changing all the time, with duck numbers increasing all the time, the trees changing colours and dropping their leaves. On a lovely day its a magic place and when its raining, its still a great place to see birds etc.

    If you haven't visited before or haven't been for a while then please get yourself along soon. We have an event this coming saturday. We will be making bird feeders from fir cones, a guided walk and other things. It would be great to see you.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    Sunday 28th October

    The last sunday of October and i did remember to put the clocks back an hour. It was a grey and overcast day but free from fridays snow thank goodness. It was still quite chilly and the birds were hungry for food. As i filled the feeders up, coal tits were hanging off the feeders before i'd managed to put them back in the trees!!

    Blue tits, great tits, chaffinches, long tailed tits and robins were all in attendance along with 2 young great spotted woodpeckers. Red squirrels were also around and prefered to take peanuts from the bird feeders, even though i had filled their boxes up too!!

    I went for a walk round the reserve and found nice flocks of siskins, bullfinches 9 and long tailed tits.

    On the water, duck numbers continue to increase. Teal 250+, mallard 200+, tufties 50+, goldeneye, 15, wigeon 47, gadwall 24, shoveler 6. Other birds seen were cormorant, heron, buzzard, kestrel, greylags, pinkfeet-overhead, reed buntings and best of the day, a Merlin over beside the old barn.

    We still have two groups of young mute swans, and yesterday was the first time i had seen the group of 5 flying. They didn't go far, but at least they are now taking to the air.

    The colours on the reserve are gorgeous at the moment, although the recent heavy winds have taken their toll on the leaves in the trees. Well worth a visit if you can.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    Its a great time to go along to Kinnordy at the moment. Although there is a lot of water, there are lots of birds to see. The drake Smew is showing really and we saw it only a few yards from the gallery hide yesterday morning. The bearded tits have been active too. When i saw them a couple of weeks ago there was 1 male, 1 female and a juvenile. A couple of days ago Gus saw three females, while another regular visitor managed to get a photo of a male and female together, so we might have at least 4 or 5 birds on the reserve. The Bittern has also been seen regularly by numerous visitors. I must admit that i haven't YET!!!

    I left my camera at home yesterday and was kicking my self when the smew flew in to a few yards from the hide!!! Others got fantastic photos of it.

    There is still a lot of water around and you need wellies to get into the east hide. I wouldn't recommend the swamp hide because the first boardwalk is under water. A lot of the birds were along at the swamp end yesterday, including 30+ whooper swans, goosander, greylag geese. There are a lot of goldeneye eye around, a few tufts and teal. The smew tends to be around the goldeneye most of the time and covers a lot of the water in the east end of the loch.

    I will be going up again in the new year, with camera this time!!

    I just want to wish everyone a happy new year when it comes tonight and hope you have a good time. Good luck for 2013!!


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    2nd January 2013

    My first visit to the reserve this year and it was wet and foggy when i arrived. Most of the wildfowl are preferring to stay along at the swamp end for now with whooper swans, mallard, greylags, teal and wigeon in attendance. The gullery hide is still the easiest hide to get to because of the water levels. Teal, mallard, goldeneye, tufties, goosander and cormorant there. Mute swans were also there along with greylag geese who were going between the loch and the fields behind the reserve, to feed.

    No male smew today and he wasn't seen yesterday either. Lots of people were disappointed because they were expecting to add him to their new lists for 2013. I'm sure he will come back, though with all the water around, he could still be anywhere on the reserve.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    3rd Januarey 2013

    The Smew was back this morning but refused to get close to get decent photos. It covers a great deal of the loch in no time at all.

    A lot of other birds around this morning and it was great to see a peregrine falcon. It stayed around for a while hunting up and down the reserve. It kept a lot of the ducks in the air for quite a while.

    Shoveler, wigeon, teal, gadwall, mallard, tufties, goldeneye, cormorant, goosander, redpoll, goldcrest, reed bunting, brambling, goldfinch, chaffinch, robin and wren were all seen.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    5th January 2013

    I was on the reserve for a couple of hours this morning and it was the usual suspects that were present. Lots of wigeon, goldeneye, mallards, teal, tufties, cormorant, goosander and shoveler. The smew appeared after an hour and disappeared again shortly afterwards. 70+ whooper swans are there now along with mute swans and greylag geese. We saw a couple of white fronted geese in amongst the greylags as they flew in from feeding.

    There is still a nice flock of redpoll flying round the reserve along with siskins, chaffinches and brambling.


  • In reply to Darell Berthon:

    Sunday 13th January 2013

    The male smew was still present today but was playing very hard to find. It was very white when i arrived and continued to snow for the best part of the day. I filled up the feeders to the delight of the birds which included brambling, blue tits, coal tits, great tits, chaffinches, robin and great spotted woodpecker.

    On the loch were wigeon, teal, mallard, goldeneye, goosander, tufted duck, whooper swans, mute swans, greylag geese and cormorant.

    Small birds around the reserve included treecreeper, wren, siskin, redpoll, reed bunting, bullfinch and goldcrest. Pheasant, rooks, crows, buzzard, kestrel, woodpigeon and blackbirds were also present.

    Red squirrels were also present at both the boardwalk to the gallery hide and the feeding station.

    Although it was very cold, it didn't spoil a good days bird watching.