It's been an exciting couple of weeks here at Kinnordy. In recent weeks there has been more regular sightings of a few of the more uncommon visitors to Kinnordy; including a male smew, white-fronted geese, green-winged teal and the elusive bittern!
The male smew over-wintered at Kinnordy. He appeared, with a female smew to start with, around mid-December and stuck around to the end of February. Seeing him was really great; he always showed up really well from both Gullery and East hide. The last sighting of the smew was on 21st Feb. The white-fronted geese also stuck around at the loch for longer than expected. There was a regular group of 15 white-fronts - including 1 greenland white fronted goose - seen from mid-Jan onwards. More recently their numbers have dropped, but a small number have been seen in and around the site within the last week - 2 white-fronts were seen in the vegetation directly infront of East hide; they well so well comoflagued, they were almost missed! The green-winged teal has been in and around the reserve since the 22nd Feb. At first he liked spending time on the bog-bean islands infront of Gullery hide, but since then he has become harder to find, usually hiding and blending in well in the far N.East corner of the loch. The end of Feb (29th) saw the first sighting of a bittern since Nov last year. He showed up really well in the reeds directly opposite Gullery hide (by the lone pine tree with a nestbox). The bittern was then seen less than a week after, on the 5th March.
On the management side of things we have a few projects going on on-site during Feb-March. At the west end of the reserve, a new fence line in the middle of being erected. This fence line is for an enclosure for Konik ponies that Kinnordy are expecting! Basically the Koniks ponies are our new lawn mowers, alongside the existing mowers (the highland cattle) - we are bringing them on-site to graze the fen and marsh on the middlemarsh. More information about the Koniks will be available once the Koniks are on-site, but if you are interested in knowing more then please feel free to get in touch with me (warden). More recently a contract to clear up some more willow scrub at the North side of the reserve has started - so you may see some smoke over at the back of the reserve the next time you come to the hides. Then, from next week, we are expecting the return of the Truxor! Since it's successfull trial in December we have been eager to get the Truxor back to chop up the bogbean islands infront of Gullery. So from next week, please bear this in mind and you should expect that the Truxor may cause a small disturbance to the black-headed gulls that have already started to take up resident on the bogbean islands.