I just thought I'd take a moment to explain about the 40m long ditch visible from the visitor centre window. In actual fact we are not laying a gas main, rather work progressed today on installing the brand new Otter-proof fencing around starnafin island. This past year the nesting Terns that use the island have suffered from heavy predation by Gulls and Otters and so following the extensive flattening of the island we opted for what the salesman described as "the most advanced Otter-proof fencing on the market". Sounds like a plan.
Work began (above) with marking a straigh line with some handy string and then digging a hole 1 foot deep and 1 foot wide. This continued for about 4 more hours until we had a very long hole, which we in the industry call a "ditch". Pretty straightforward stuff but there's nothing like some good honest digging, "it's kind of satisfying" claims Vicky.
Pretty soon we had an audience (below) as April and her gand wandered over to make sure we were working hard enough before having a good chew on the quad bike.
Much digging to do still but we hope to get some of the fencing in place in the near future.
Highlights over the past week.
25th: 4 Dunlin and 4 Scaup from Tower pool hide. 2000 Wigeon from Fen Hide. 2000 Golden plover and a Chiffchaff at Rattray.
26th: A Woodcock flew over the Visitor centre. Dipper and Tree Creeper seen near Savoch burn. Water rail spotted on Mosstown Marsh. Female Stonechat spotted outside the Visitor centre.
28th; 47 Barnacle Geese our highest number for the week. 100 Common Gull from Tower Pool Hide.
29th: 2 White Snow Geese on the low ground. 2500 Pink-footed geese using Starnafin pools. Female Peregrine seen from Tower Pool Hide. A male bullfinch was spotted in the car park.
30th; A single Jack snipe was flushed up on Mosstown Marsh. Female Peregrine and 25 Shoveler seen from Visitor centre.
The Little Egret has been seen daily from the Visitor centre.
6000-8000 Pink-footed geese are regularly on the low ground producing spectacular views from Tower Pool Hide as they head off the reserve about 08.00.