We've had a couple of new bird species to the reserve for the year. In the past week or so, I've seen Jay flying across the reserve and when going to fill up the feeders, I've flushed a Snipe out from the undergrowth!
There used to be an area on the reserve called the Snipe Bog, which used to have breeding Snipe in it, but unfortunately it has become heavily overgrown with willow scrub in the past few years. We are planning on clearing a lot of the scrub away to try and bring the place back to it's former glory. I'd love to be able to say that Snipe were nesting on the reserve again!
I've spoken with the local Air Cadet Squadron about the possibility of helping out on the reserve with litter picking, clearing of the spillway and potentially even with the coppicing work. They seem quite enthusiastic about the idea, and it will be great to have them on board to help out in the winter months. Hopefully by the time spring comes around again, the reserve will be a changed place, but in a good way. Hopefully we'll be able to get back some of the old habitat without impacting too much on the new habitat.
We've also had a large influx of Siskin on the reserve over the last few days, particularly at the trees by the car park. It seems that there's been quite a large irruption of them in the UK this year, so don't be surprised if you see them at your bird feeders this winter! They really are gorgeous little birds and it's great to see so many of them on the reserve.
We're still sitting waiting on the berry eating birds to arrive to feed off the laden plants, but there has been no sign yet. With the strong westerly winds right now, i doubt much will be coming over from the continent. There have been reports of early waxwings up north, near Inverness in the past few days. Hopefully this year will be a good year for them, too!