This has been one of those months when things have been pretty much non-stop.

We have a new Species & Habitats Warden –welcome to Lorna Dow, who has been on secondment since the end of last year and is brave enough to want to stay! We also have a Meadow Officer starting on 4 April – welcome to Roddy Hamilton, who will be with us until the end of July, heading up the Save Our Magnificent Meadows celebrations, school visits and community engagement. We’ve also been recruiting an Assistant Warden – we’ll let you know about that when everything is finalised!

Recent new sightings for 2016 include osprey (27 March) and stock dove (23 March), and the little egrets reappeared on 15 March – there have been two around since then. There are still a reasonable number of pink-footed geese, but we expect them to be leaving soon for their breeding grounds in Iceland and Greenland; we’ll be counting all the wildfowl and waders for this month’s Wetland Bird Survey on 11 April so we’ll know more about numbers then.

Our new osprey platform is up, courtesy of Scottish Hydro-Electric who came and did the work on Tuesday 29 March – there are actually two poles, one with the nesting platform and a perch, and one for perching on nearby, and both are clearly viewable from Tower Pool Hide. With ospreys arriving in the area at the moment, we can but keep our fingers crossed that they find it and take a liking to it, but only time will tell. It may take a while! We can also get a bit more water back on the Low Ground/Tower Pool, having lowed the level to allow the work.

All Photos – Ed Grace

The Summer Path to the loch-side hides will be open from this weekend until the end of July, so visitors can now enjoy the walk from Starnafin to Fen and Bay hides (or vice versa!). It is still quite wet in places so wellies are recommended! Please note that it is not suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs, and dogs are not permitted on this path, as it crosses our neighbour’s land.

Work on the new office is still ongoing – the exterior cladding has gone on, and they are working on the interior of the visitor centre. More news on a moving date when we know!

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