ETA Just after this was posted Vicky went down to Tower Pool Hide and amazingly, spotted Red A- the White-tailed Eagle that visited the reserve in April. He then moved to the lagoon and finally settled in the dunes just near the plantations. Will update you if he's about tomorrow- check www.twitter.com/RSPB_NEScot for the latest news.
Although we've had nothing like the amount of rain that has been falling on some parts of the country, it's continued to be a fairly damp and dreary few days at Strathbeg. Unfortunately that meant we had to cancel our WIld Kids event for today- even though shelter building definitely have been appropriate given the weather, a four hour expedition to the plantation wouldn't have been much fun for anyone! If you missed out today, our Tremendous Trees day will definitely go ahead next Wednesday and we'll try and fit some shelter-building into one of our other Wild Kids days to make up for it.
It's been a bit of a wet few days for the staff as well, although it's given us a chance to catch up with lots of small jobs- writing up seabird surveys, painting signs and updating some of the displays in the visitor centre. Bird-wise we're starting to see a few returning wading birds. These guys have probably failed to breed in the north or on the hills and are heading back south a little earlier than usual. Greenshank, Whimbrel and a couple of Ruff have both dropped onto the pools in the past few days. Our Siskin family are still the star of the show from the office window/Willow Hide, and Osprey are still regular over the loch, although we've not managed to get close enough to ID our colour-ringed male yet.
Disappointingly, and despite all of us checking the telephone wires for anything blue, there's been no more sign of the European Roller that was seen in the area over the weekend. It was seen around New Aberdour, which is not too far away and would be a first for the reserve, so if you see something that looks a bit like this as you're walking around, come and let us know straight away!
(Yes, we know, this is an Abyssinian Roller- has a much longer tail that the European variety but the colours are similar and we don't have a picture of a European one! If anyone's been lucky enough to take a nice photo of the European type and would be happy to share it then let us know and we'll post it on the blog.)