Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS to Fraserburgh and District RSPB Wildlife Explorers, who celebrated their twentieth birthday this weekend with the ‘Big Bird Box Bash!’ Over thirty members and leaders, past and present, held a party ...

Jim Lister and Kirsty McLeod get down to some serious construction

... they made bird boxes (this was the very first thing they did 20 years ago), decorated cupcakes, did lots of wildlife craft activities, and had one big celebration! Of course there was cake...

...and presentations; John Bruce and Iona Duthie received their Bronze Wildlife Action awards, and leader Irene Jappy (below) got her long-service award! Well done to everyone!

Thanks to Sandra McLeod for all the photos!

The party was also the swansong for the Visitor Centre in its current configuration; work commences Monday 28 September on the new office, revamped VC and upgraded volunteer accommodation. This will include quite a bit of demolition work, so the Visitor Centre and current toilet block are now shut until further notice. There will be some alternative toilets on site soon, and the hides and wildlife garden all remain open. Car parking will be limited, beside the farmhouse for the moment, with overflow into the field behind; we’ll make sure there are signs to show you where to go! Please watch out for construction traffic if you are visiting. Things may change as the build goes on, and I’ll keep you updated here, and on Facebook and Twitter.

On the birding front, recent sightings include red-breasted flycatcher on 24 August, buff-breasted sandpiper and pectoral sandpiper from Tower Pool hide on 23 September, and a yellow-browed warbler in the garden on the same day. The geese have started to arrive, with over 1000 pinkfeet on the Savoch Low Ground on Saturday afternoon, 27 September. They’re spreading out onto the stubble fields during the day, so dusk may be the best time to watch for them at the moment; how many will we get this year? Lapwing and golden plover numbers are building up, and there’s quite a good starling murmuration at the south end of the loch at dusk.