Finally – the roof goes on! (Ed Grace)

The new office building is really taking shape now, and we’re starting to feel that we actually will be in there one day soon-ish! The roof panels going on, and the interior walls being set out give us a good impression of how it’s going to be; the big windows looking out onto Starnafin Pools are probably going to prove quite a distraction.

Plans for the ‘Save Our Magnificent Meadows’ events are coming together, including a Doric poetry competition, supported by the Buchan Heritage Society, and an Open Day/family event on National Meadows Day on 2 July. To help organise and run all this, we’re currently looking to recruit a Meadows Officer – this is a 4-month contract from March to July – details are on the RSPB website.

The closing date for applications is 18 February, so if you are interested, get your skates on!

Recent sightings: An absolutely stonking bittern appeared on 23 January, giving visitor Doug Thomson a great opportunity for some amazing photographs; it was seen again at the weekend ( 6 Feb) from Fen Hide by our Warden Lorna. Great Northern diver and red-throated diver were seen offshore just south of the Tufted Duck Hotel at St Combs, at the far north end of the reserve, along with bar-tail godwit on ??? There have been quite a few coal tits with the blue tits, great tits and hordes of tree sparrows on the feeders near the office, not to mention the almost constant drumming of great spotted woodpeckers which is starting to drive us slightly mad! Regular visitor Margaret Cowie found a drake smew on the south end of the Loch on 4 February, far out but still identifiable.

Bittern (Doug Thomson, taken from Fen Hide on 23 January)