There have been several new additions to the reserve, of various sorts, both good and bad over the past week or two.
The first one I'll mention is that my friend Janie is now the Reserve Warden for the site. Basically, she will be assisting me with the work i carry out on the reserve. She's very enthusiastic and approachable, so if you see her on site, feel free to stop her and ask any questions you may have (She's easy to spot - she's the one wearing the SWT fleece with the 'Ranger Service' badge on it!)
In addition, she'll have access to this blog so that she can update it at any time. I think we'll try and stick to the normal routine of updating the blog once a week, roughly. Obviously, if either of us spot anything of particular interest, we'll update the blog as soon as we can!
We have another new bird addition for the reserve in the shape of a cormorant, which was seen on monday flying away from the loch (But not since). That's another one added to the list, which just keeps growing and growing! I suspect next year's list will be even larger, since we'll be starting in January, rather than May and we'll be on site more than we were at the beginning of this year, particularly during the migration seasons.
The most interesting new addition for visitors to the reserve is two new seed feeders, mounted on a pole. The feeders are 26" long and a bright blue plastic, so they should be easy enough for most people to spot! A (bad) photo of them is shown below - apologies for the quality of the shot, but it was chucking it down with rain today, so the camera wasn't playing very nice in the low light conditions.
The feeders were only put up yesterday, but already they've proven a bit of a success. There is a pretty constant stream of Coal Tits, Great Tits and Blue Tits darting back and forth to them right now. Although the birds are not lingering long on the feeders, they're definitely making use of them. It's a positive hive of activity there now as a result, with birds coming and going all the time.
The other new additions to the reserve are the negative ones, sadly. The past week or two have seen a large increase in litter being dumped at the car park and dog mess along the paths. I will definitely be mentioning this at the next advisory group meeting, with the hope that we can get a bin installed at the Car Park so that people at least have somewhere to put their rubbish. Why they can't just take it home with them and put it in the bin, i don't know!
And finally, this Sunday morning, i will be giving some of the local Air Cadets a tour of the reserve with a view to them helping out with the litter and some of the coppicing and scrub removal work over the winter. If you see a group of teenagers on site, but off the path on Sunday morning, don't panic. They'll be with me! :-)