Today seems a little colder, there’s a breeze in the air, the sky is overcast and dare I say it, it feels a little like autumn. The birds have noticed too – we have seen increasing numbers of wintering wildfowl on the reserve this week.

Today, our warden Dan counted 240 tufted duck out on the Barr Loch, along with 28 mute swan, 8 greylag geese and 25 great-crested grebes – some of the latter in family groups of twos and threes.

Great-crested grebe.

As the nights start to draw in we expect to see an additional influx of wintering wildfowl – autumn will be well and truly here when the sky is punctuated with long, waggly lines of honking geese.

For the moment, however, there is still time to see a lot of the wildlife you’d expect to see in the summer months across the reserve. Also on and around the Barr Loch today were: a kingfisher; a pochard; a grey heron; a nuthatch; and a willow warbler.

Ospreys are still out and about and fishing on the Barr Loch – one even performed a theatrical dive in front of the visitor centre last week! It’s likely they’ll be here for a few weeks yet, before they – like the willow warblers, house martins, swifts and our other summer visitors – start their incredible migration to Africa where they spend our winter.


This week we also had the pleasure of seeing a charm of 35 goldfinch, a Mandarin duck and a raven, which was a particular highlight!

Away from the birds, visitors this week reported seeing an otter playing in front of the Aird Meadow hide – what a sight that must have been!

A great selection of wildlife was also recorded on the reserve during the Chris Packham bioblitz on 15th July. Chris was particularly pleased to hear about our sneezewort, and we (and our visitors) were delighted that he choose Lochwinnoch as one of his UK bioblitz reserves: view the full list of species.

Chris Packham visited the reserve on Sunday 15 July.


Other species seen on the reserve today (19 Aug)

Lesser redpoll
House martin
Lapwing (12)
House sparrow
Great tit
Blue tit
Coal tit
Collared dove


Other summer 2018 highlights

It’s been fantastic to see snipe breeding successfully on the reserve and it’s always great to point out these beautifully camouflaged birds out to our visitors – often with the help of a telescope!

Great spotted woodpecker (18 Aug)
Sedge warbler (18 Aug) - 91 recorded over the summer!
Common tern (7) (14 Aug)
Little grebe (7) (12 Aug)
Osprey (11 Aug)
Raven (2) (4 Aug)
Cuckoo (31 Jul)
Tree pipit (15 Jul) – only the third time seen on the reserve!
Marsh harrier (13 Jul)
Black-tailed godwit (40) (3 Jul)
Common scoter (pair) (8 Jul) – only the second time seen on the reserve!

Common scoter (male).


Common scoter (female).