Welcome to 2016 and a Happy New Year to all our supporters, volunteers and visitors, we wish you all a content and prosperous year.
A new year begins on the reserve.
Conditions have been much the same as elsewhere, wet, windy and grey. However we have escaped much of the flooding that has caused such damage elsewhere for now, as the forecast is for more of the same for a while longer. Please be safe out there. Here are the highlights from the end of last year;
The numbers of Pinkfooted geese are a bit lower on roosts just now due to the winds and wet fields, around 2000. A few Greylags around but mostly in the low 30’s. 26 LB Brent and a single Dark bellied Brent in Balgove on 15th.
19 Ringed plover, 9 Grey partridge and 2 Reed bunting and single Stonechat on 13th. 4 Stonechat and 11 Grey partridge on 15th. A nice gathering offshore of 1600 Common scoter on 22nd.
: 6 Snipe on 17th.
6 Goldcrest, 4 Bullfinch, 24 Sanderling and single Treecreeper on 16th. 14 Goldcrest in reres Wood on 19th.
A nice spot of 2 Waxwing and 2 Redwing at Pilmuir car park on 15th.
WeBS (Estuary Count): Reasonable numbers of waders and wildfowl. However the weather is making it an unsettled scene and they can be difficult to see and predict. 25 Cormorant, 336 Shelduck, 266 Wigeon and 235 Teal. 35 Mallard and 33 Pintail and a nice 18 Goldeneye on 15th. Waders out on 10th were 692 Oystercatcher, 270 Lapwing, 350 Dunlin, 160 Black tailed godwit, 69 Bar tailed godwit, quite low just now. 202 Redshank and 2 Greenshank. Only 4 Grey plover and 23 Knot.
present 6 out of 31 days with 3 on 20th.
As always the centre provides a great spot to pick up birds, although quieter of late, weather related I’m sure. Little grebe present most of the month with peak of 5 on 28th. 19 Mute swan on 10th and single Whooper on 22nd. Goldeneye numbers building with 8 on 28th. Black tailed godwit numbers slowly rising with 250 on 30th.
Up on the feeders it is busy with Tree sparrow, Greenfinch, Long tailed tits and a regular GS woodpecker pair. No time to hang around there for the wee birds as a female Sparrowhawk is a regular patroller of the feeders.
Bird of the Month
This stunning and elusive bird is notoriously difficult to predict and is a fickle visitor to sites. Often spotted in unlikely places, perching and ‘twittering’ in small groups on park trees and hedges, they over winter in the UK when their breeding grounds are short of food. Their soft calls can draw the attention but once spotted there is no confusing with other species. Around 11,000 wintering the UK, a scarce visitor to the reserve with 2 at Links Courses on 15th, a long way to go to beat the peak of 185 in Guardbridge back in 1974.
• Opening Hours 9am-4pm.
• The Centre Car Park: Will be closed from 11th January for around 1 week. The centre will remain open.
• Evans Hide Balgove: The hide is now open again, but is yet to be painted.
• Visitor Handbook 2016: Out now at Centre priced £1.
• Donations: Please keep the donations coming, the reserve relies on this support for projects and the likes of bird food and feeders for the centre. The funds are always spent on the welfare of either the birds or visitors. It is very much appreciated.
Guardbridge Road Closure
Due to start from 11th January onwards, the road will be closed for 8 weeks from start of February however the exact dates may move. Access to Eden Centre will be from Leuchars (via St Michaels). Please expect delays and disruption. The centre may have to be closed but at present it remains open.