season is always a wonderful and exciting time of year, especially at Kinnordy.
Lots of family groups have been seen on a daily basis. Last count was; 3 mute swan families - 1 pair with 1 cygnet and 1 pair with 5 cygnets seen from East hide and another pair with 4 cygnets seen from Gullery hide. Perhaps thats not all with another 4 pairs of mute swan based at the reserve? Also from Gullery hide you can sometimes see a female mallard with a brood of 7 older ducklings. There is a possible young female gadwall. And some young moorhens and coots swimming around the main loch. Even two possible young grey herons have been spotted around Swamp hide recently.
The marsh harrier pair are still around - and we are still hopefull they will be successful with their breeding attempts but no-one will know for sure for a little bit longer. Young ospreys will be fledging soon, so look for family groups at the
loch. At least two ospreys are seen frequently still fishing over the loch.
A surprise visitor popped into Kinnordy in the form of a great white egret, seen from 5-7th June. That was quite exciting to see.
We've heard lots of the water rail lately - but unfortunately most of us still haven't seen them yet. It may still be early yet, but hopefully in the weeks to come the water rail will venture out in front of the hides, like last year, for all to see.
I've finally heard snipe at the west end of the reserve - during one of the breeding wader surveys. I'm not sure how long they've been there but it's a first for me this year. Theres a few reed bunting at the west end, but also a couple around Gullery and East Hide. And a sedge warbler continues to pose perfectly for pictures at the left-hand side of Gullery hide.
What a beautiful sunny day we had at the reserve today! Is this the start of summer? I hope so :)
The osprey and the female marsh harrier were both out for awhile enjoying the sun too. The osprey managed to catch a couple of fish while at the loch. It looks like we now have two mute swan families; both with 3 cygnets each. And a female mallard was seen with 8 older ducklings, so it looks like they might make it. There's definitely been a rise in mallard numbers at the reserve recently - up to 30, mostly drakes.
The bad news is that the black-headed gull colony had almost completely disappeared - only two were seen today. That's yet another decrease in numbers in the last few weeks. It was, again, a case of the otters (although none have been seen this week) getting at the colony.
Other sightings today included: goldfinch and bullfinch on the paths past the sluice brigde, the red squirrel was out at the trees before the Gullery boardwalk, sedge warblers and reed buntings whizzing past the front of Gullery hide, a few pair of gadwall and tufted duck are still around at Swamp and 19 greylag geese were seen resting where the highland cattle feeder is.
If you're luck enough you might be able to see the water rail now - on Tues (31st May) there was a sighting of one, clear as day, infront of gullery hide. So keep your eyes peeled.