Well the forecast nice weather has finally arrived - although I am not sure that I like this warm weather at the end of October!
Things have quietened down on the bird fron as you would expect at this time of year - although there are still groups of thrushes coming in on a daily basis. By far the highlight the last couple of days has been Ralf our resident white tailed eagle; he finally seems to have mastered the art of hunting and has been seen taking several victims since the weekend. He has developed the technique of flying rather slowly and very close to the ground across the low ground to flush everything and then with a couple of powerful beats of his huge wings suddenly speeds up and lazily sticks out his leg and skewers some unfortunate beast on his talons before flying off and consuming his hard won snack! Great fun to watch but would not want to be on the business end of his bill though!
Following on from the rain the water levels are now slowly dropping although they are several days away from the usual depth for this time of year, and if the forecast is correct and more rain is on its way who knows when we shall get dry ground in front of the centre again!
So where is this nice weather that the forecast keeps going on about? Outside it is a strong south easterly wind with yet more rain - we are starting to run out of places to put the stuff!
As it is easterly decided to combine our weekly wildfowl checks with a visit to the plantation! Well when I was able to use my bins managed to find just a single chiffchaff, handful of goldrest and a few blackbirds and got soaked in the process! Although I was not as wet as one of our field teachers who had a group on site today - they were hoping to go pond dipping but due to excess flooding were not able to! I hope we have now solved that issue as the inlet for the pond dipping area was jammed open and the outlet was blocked! Having got slightly damp closing the inlet and opening the outlet was pleased to see the water level starting to drop until it started to rain yet again and the levels in the feeder ditch are getting close to being higher than the inlet yet again!
Lets hope tomorrow is a drier day!
Well the weather was all it was forecast to be - strong south easterly winds with rain. Ideal for migrants, so dragged my reluctant children out on a couple of occasions as there was bound to be something good in the plantation. Despite getting soaked and cold all we could manage was a couple of ring ouzel in among many mixed thrushes, 30 plus goldcrest, woodcock, several chiffchaffs and two blackcap, this would be a good haul if it was not for the fact that within half a mile of the reserve there weren't firecrests and black redstarts both of which we have not seen on the reserve this year!Oh well if it was easy there would be no challenge! Lets hope that something was blown in but has been cowering in the bushes in the foul weather and needs to feed up over the next couple of days giving us a chance to find it!
Our resident eagle has continued to impress visitors and scare the living daylights out of the geese. The most unusal record though must be of a slavonian grebe on the pools in front of the visitor centre for the last couple of days. They are scacre visitors to the Loch itself but I cannot find any other records of thtem dfor the visitor centre pools.