• This Week's Highlights

    What a fun-packed week we've had!

    We started on Monday with interviews for our Species and Habitats Warden post - and we are pleased to say we have a new member of staff! Watch this space for more details.

    On Tuesday, we had the annual visit by the vet, to check out the Koniks, microchip the new foals and oversee the fitting of GPS tracking collars on three of the ponies; fortunately, they were very relaxed about…

    • 5 Sep 2014
  • August - Almost Autumn Already!

    The end of July saw a number of  waders passing through the reserve, with green sandpiper, pectoral sandpiper and curlew sandpiper, and an elusive lesser yellowlegs seen in the lagoon on 29 July.  Reasonable numbers of dunlin and golden plover were also seen on the seaward side of the reserve.  A little stint appeared on 13 August,  and since then numbers of waders have been steadily growing - a sure sign that autumn is on…

    • 26 Aug 2014
  • Recent sightings

    Good news and bad news with regards the Terns: After a rather long time of tern nest failures on Starnafin Island, we are still (finally!) seeing a wonderful result of successful breeding!! A total number is rather hard to come to as the vegetation has grown up so much that a lot of them are hiding in it, but at last rough estimate, there are at least 120 chicks there. So all the hard work by the wardening team last winter…

    • 28 Jul 2014
  • Fire in the dunes at Loch of Strathbeg

    Around lunchtime yesterday we were alerted to a fire on the dunes at the northern end of our Loch of Strathbeg reserve, near St Combs. It was in an area of grass on the sand dunes and was moving fast. By late-afternoon, the Fire and Rescue Service...
    • 29 Jun 2014
  • Latest Sightings

    On 7th June on the visitor centre pools, there were 2 spoonbills and 3 Canada geese.

    An exciting event last weekend was the birth of another foal! We weren’t sure of the sex, and a couple of days later another was born. A wee trip out to the Lowground proved the suspicion that the first had been a colt, and was therefore named Bilbo Baggins, and the second born was a filly, so she was called Brèagha. Brèagha is pronounced…

    • 16 Jun 2014
  • Spoonbills Galore! A round-up for 15-27 May 2014.

    The spoonbill that I mentioned in my last blog entry was joined by another on 17th, a third dropped in on 20th and by Wednesday 21st we had a grand total of four! The latecomer only stayed for a day, however, but the others stayed on, and two are still around the reserve, although they can be a little elusive, feeding on the pools of the Low Ground as well as at Starnafin.

    Our star bird is probably the American wige…

    • 28 May 2014
  • Reserves Round-up and latest sightings – 6-14 May

    The recent spot of fine weather has seen the wardening team out and about on the reserve, getting to all the things that need doing in the boggiest places, so it falls to this office-bound administrator to write the latest update!

    Tuesday 6th saw a ring ousel on the dry grass fields near the Back Bar, and swifts screaming over the Plantation, a dunlin and a couple of black-tailed godwits. The waders were joined by another…

    • 15 May 2014
  • Loch of Strathbeg: latest sightings 28th April to 5th May

    Kicking on with highlights on Starnafin Pools in front of our visitor centre, waders have started to trickle in and we have had several "reserve year ticks".   Two male ruff were seen on the 28th April moulting into their summer plumage.  One was very dark and the other was predominantly white.   The white individual is still here, last seen this afternoon.     A little ringed plover was first seen on the 4th May and again…

    • 6 May 2014
  • Latest Sightings - 21/4/14 to 27/4/14

    Highlights from the past week 21/4/14 to 27/4/14

    The Little Egret has been around all week.

    Monday 21st

    2 Stonechat and 2 Wheatear on the airfield

    Tuesday 22nd

    We did a WeBS count on Tuesday morning, highlights from the count:

    1200 Pink-footed geese

    13 Gadwall

    3 Whooper swan

    4 Pintail

    27 Shelduck

    4 Water rail

    124 Teal

    1 Little grebe

    2 Scaup

    Osprey and a Peregrine over the low ground

    And a Ring Ouzel in…

    • 27 Apr 2014
  • Latest Sightings April 13th - 22nd

    This week, although there have still been some geese, (a couple of flocks of 300 or so flew over me on the reserve on the 18th) I got the feeling that most of them have headed off. This was confirmed this morning when we did a goose count, along with our WeBS count, which revealed that only about 1200 are still around.

    Last Sunday we still had the two little egrets hanging around, and have been spotted on and off throughout…

    • 22 Apr 2014
  • Loch of Strathbeg latest sightings 29th March to 12th April

    It's been a couple of weeks since our last update and there is a fair bit to report.

    Starting with a dawn goose count on 1st April..a very respectable 19,100 pink footed geese were recorded and the feeling is this was a probably an undercount. (several massive lifts causing panic amongst the counters!)   As of today’s date there are still good numbers of pink footed geese roosting on the reserve.   A visiting photographer…

    • 13 Apr 2014
  • Latest sightings 17-26 March

    Report by Matthew Smith & Christine Hall.

    Visit to the hides on Monday 17th  for the weekly clean included sightings of Great Crested Grebe (2), Red Breasted Merganser (4), Goosander (2), Bean Goose, Scaup (2) Hooded Crow, Whitefronted Goose and a surprised Ermine on the broadwalk to Fen Hide.

    5.30am start on Tues 18th for early morning goose count got 21, 700 pink footed geese currently roosting on the reserve.…

    • 27 Mar 2014
  • Loch of Strathbeg: Latest sightings 3rd to 16th march

     

    It’s been a while since our last round up, we have been busy with a couple of projects on the reserve that got held up by the wet and windy winter.

    Continuing on from the last update, Bearded tits are still being seen, literally all over the reserve.   They are a regular feature of a visit to Fen hide.   One of our visitors tells me they are often to the left of the hide.   On the 9th March at least one bird was in…

    • 16 Mar 2014
  • Latest Sightings: Loch of Strathbeg 18th Feb to 2nd March 2014

    Well, the first thing to say is that it really is beginning to feel like spring.   There are lots of signs that wildlife is beginning to feel the same, with skylarks singing, a few half hearted displays from lapwing over the low ground and goldeneye doing their crazy head flicking thing.   Of course, who will ever forget our bushnell camera footage of a couple of badgers feeling “spring like”. The weather too has hopefully…

    • 3 Mar 2014
  • Strathbeg latest sightings 11th to 16th February: by Matthew Smith

     Over half way through February and the reserve year list is up to 99 and ticking along nicely and Snowdrops are out in force. The highlight was a drake Ring-necked duck, which was first found on the silt trap to the left of Tower Pool hide on the 10th but is still showing well as I write.   Pink-footed geese numbers roosting on the reserve is currently at 11,494 along with up to 5 European White-fronted geese and a single…

    • 18 Feb 2014
  • Reserve Round-up 1-11 February

    The end of January brought us a smew and a Slavonian grebe on the loch, and a little gull and 50 sanderling down on the beach, where the recent weather has certainly made some changes to the landscape. The smew and grebe lingered over the weekend, with a long-tailed duck and a couple of scaup also dropping in. The first great crested grebe of the year was seen on Monday 3rd, and a water rail was calling near Tower Pool…

    • 11 Feb 2014
  • Latest sightings 22 to 30 Jan 2014 - rain and more rain...

    If there's one thing we're not short of at the  moment, it's rain!  The reserve is almost as wet as I've ever seen it - much to the delight of the wildfowl and waders, if not the poor wardening staff and volunteers who are still digging trenches for our new otter fence. Current fashion is not so much RSPB blue as a nice shade of mud!

    All the water has drawn in good numbers of ducks, with three scaup (2…

    • 30 Jan 2014
  • Loch of Strathbeg Latest sightings 14th to 21st January 2014

     21 days into 2014 and we have already had some memorable wildlife moments. This round up begins with a summary of the monthly wetland bird survey (WeBs) undertaken over the weekend just gone. The most important news is once again Strathbeg comes up trumps with a wintering bittern, seen by the site manager Richard from Fen Hide on the 18th.  Pink footed geese currently roosting on the reserve total 16,180. Plus at least…

    • 21 Jan 2014
  • A quick round up of wildlife sightings at Loch of Strathbeg 6th to 13th January

    Starting with mammal sightings this week...another great sighting of an otter on the 10th swimming and fishing in front of Bay Hide.    Most early mornings in the fields near the Starnafin Visitor Centre there is a group of up to 10 roe deer.   I had a rather private wildlife moment with them this morning as they trotted in front of my car on the access track and then sheer panic set in amongst the group as they sprinted away…

    • 13 Jan 2014
  • latest Sightings at Loch of Strathbeg...new year..new year list

    Happy new year to all our facebook followers. So,what has been about over Christmas and New Year? Despite the generally dreadful weather it hasn’t been too bad with some great wildlife moments. We haven’t done a goose count since mid December, so no news on pink footed geese numbers, but there is good news on the Snow goose front, 2 (white morphs) were seen on 3rd January on the low ground in front of Tower…
    • 5 Jan 2014
  • Loch of Strathbeg sightings 14th to 20th December

    On the week before Christmas, it’s not been too bad at Loch of Strathbeg. Pink footed geese are still hovering around the 10,000 mark which is less than we would like but fairly typical for this time of year. While we had a blank year for snow geese in winter 2012/13, this winter has been phenomenal and we are already getting a bit blasé about them. This week 2 “white” snow geese have again been seen nearly every…
    • 20 Dec 2013
  • Loch of Strathbeg Recent Sightings 13/12/13

    It's Friday the 13th and nothing has gone wrong...yet.

    Fen Hide has seen some action this week with A great Northern Diver seen on Tuesday afternoon. 2 Water rail were also heard squealing away at the same time and we received the first sighting of a Green-winged Teal this winter.

    Our resident Little Egret can still be seen almost every day with Tower Pool hide seeming to be the best location. TPH was good for seeing…

    • 13 Dec 2013
  • The Three C's: Christmas, Communities and Crimond...

    Tis the season to be jolly and all… so at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg we have kicked off December with lots of Christmassy events and activities to get us in the mood…

    On the 1st of December, we started as we meant to go on with a special Christmas Goosewatch. We invited people to come and join us to watch the spectacle of the Pink-Footed Geese returning to roost on the loch at dusk. Lots of people turned up…

    • 13 Dec 2013
  • Loch of Strathbeg latest sightings 7 December 2013

    There has been no recent count of pink-footed geese, so no update on numbers, but the lifts of geese at dawn continue to be spectacular. The Tower Hide or the Visitor Centre as the day breaks is the best viewing spot, as the Low Ground or Starnafin Pools are the favoured goose roosting spots. There is a coordinated count tomorrow morning, so an update on numbers after that. The snow goose fest continues, with 2 white…

    • 7 Dec 2013
  • Whats that hole doing there?!

    I just thought I'd take a moment to explain about the 40m long ditch visible from the visitor centre window. In actual fact we are not laying a gas main, rather work progressed today on installing the brand new Otter-proof fencing around starnafin island. This past year the nesting Terns that use the island have suffered from heavy predation by Gulls and Otters and so following the extensive flattening of the island…

    • 4 Dec 2013