Well what a difference a week can make to think this time last week I was reading all the emails about the snow and reserve closures elsewhere in Scotland whilst sipping a pina colada down here on the Costa del Solway, however I am now looking out of the office window at the blanket of snow which is still falling as I type!! I've just seen Eric drive past for a second time this morning, clearing the snow from the drive in his tractor! I braved it through the snow this morning to open the Visitor Centre . I also took my first tumble of the winter and can confirm that I can ALMOST do the splits! I will be keeping the Visitor Centre open until lunchtime today but I think that we will succumb to the weather and close this afternoon. Also I am imagining if it continues that we will be closed tomorrow as well! I’ll keep you all updated! The reserve will remain open regardless of whether the Visitor Centre is closed so you'll still be able to come for a walk if you want to brave the weather but please be aware that if the Visitor Centre is closed there will be no toilets or refreshments onsite.
In other news, we have had some great media coverage this week!! And it’s all about the birds or more specifically the wild bird cover and its importance for providing smaller farmland birds with supplementary food in the winter! We featured on BBC Scotland website, please see the link below, and we’ve even made it onto the TV!! A big thank you to Ben Mitchell (Assistant Warden) for stepping in at the last minute to do an interview with Border TV. It was on the early evening news last night (I’m sure you’ll be able to view it on ITV catch up if you want to see what a sterling job Ben did!!) I even got a call from my Aunty who lives down in Ripon, in deepest darkest North Yorkshire to say she’d seen it so our plans for Mersehead world domination are coming along nicely!!
Bird wise we are continuing to see plenty of smaller birds at the feeders behind the Visitor Centre and on the wild bird cover, we are also getting really regular sightings of Hen Harriers, mainly a female but there is a male hanging around too! Sadly the ice and snow means we aren’t getting many wildfowl or geese on the reserve. A couple of weeks ago we also got a potential sighting of a Rough Legged Buzzard too although this hasn’t been verified.
So from all at a rather white, snowy Mersehead can I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We hope to see you in the New Year! I’ll keep you updated about the weather but at the moment the Visitor Centre will close at lunchtime today and will be closed tomorrow unless we get a big thaw!
Kind Regards to all