Relax after a hectic Christmas and enjoy a scenic walk around Loch of Kinnordy to learn more about this wetland habitat's fantastic wildlife and unique history on a guided walk with site warden, Kim Ross.
Have your chance to spot the wonderful winter wildlife Kinnordy has to offer, such as; greylag geese, whooper swans, mallard, goldeneye, teal and not forgetting the chance to see a red squirrel as we stroll along the path.
This guided walk will take place on Holiday Tuesday, 27th December, starting at noon until 2pm. RSPB members are free, adult non-members are £3 and children £1, family groups are £5.
There will also be a chance to make fat balls for feeding birds in your garden at the end of the walk, which is a brilliant way to do your bit to help supplement the food for the birds over the harsh winter months - make it one of your first steps for "Stepping up for Nature"
Winter has well and truly arrived! The Loch has been mostly frozen for over a week now, which makes for amusing sightings of the birds skating around on the ice. Greylag geese continue to visit in large flocks of 100+ with several pink footed and white fronted geese too, there have also been sightings of Tundra Bean Geese a slightly more unusual arrival. We had quite a surprise last week though when a Great White Egret turned up, landing right beside Gullery hide.
After hiding out during the worst of the weather the pair of Smew have now reappeared on Swamp, we're all glad to see them back. We also had a brief visit from a female Hen Harrier on Sunday 11th, flying low over the Loch around Swamp hide, with the resident Buzzards and Kestrels too it's great to see so many birds of prey on the reserve.
Those of you who visited Kinnordy this week may have been surprised to see a new piece of machinery cruising around on the Loch. For the first time ever we were able to trial the 'Truxor' - a mini-tank like amphibious all-terrain track vehicle. This snazzy piece of kit could mean an end to long days of cutting and clearing the reed and bog-bean vegetation by hand in dry suits and waders, no more dodgy canoe antics and water in your wellies! The idea is that because the Truxor is able to float and move on water as well cross swamp, bog and well pretty much anything, we can use it to cut and clear unwanted vegetation as part of the habitat management of the wetlands on the reserve.
We need to occassionally cut back some of the vegetation because otherwise we would lose the open water spaces which attract so many birds and enable them to feed. Excess vegetation can also be a problem in that it increases the levels of nutrients in the water causing more vegetation to grow more quickly, depleting oxygen levels which may be harmful to fish and other creatures living in the Loch, on which some of the birds feed. It also means that we can give our visitors better access to view all of the fantastic wildlife at Kinnordy by making sure that the hides are kept clear of tall reeds.
Outside of the Loch itself we are using the Truxor to clear the channels of water which lead out of the reserve and which ensure that there is a steady flow of water in and out of the ecosystem, this is important to keep water at the optimum level. The Truxor is also being used to help improve the 'floating mat' of vegetation at the West end of the reserve where we hope to attract more breeding waders such as Redshank, Curlew and Lapwing.