I was delighted to see that large areas of the ice covering the lakes had broken up overnight. This is important as it means even if we are going into a new freeze at least there is s good area of open water at the start. It also allows the birds access to feeding areas denied for some time, when they are restricted they will deplete the food supply in the small open areas quite quickly. With luck if we get new freezing it will be to different areas, it also seems that the next period will be cold and windy, making it feel very cold, but the wind should help to keep the water open. As well as lots of water I also saw the party of 5 white-fronted goose on Iblsey Water before they flew out to the valley. At the end of the day just the juvenile was present, once again separated from the adults giving credence to the idea that it is not actually the off -spring of either of the adult pairs.
The forecast was not good for today, rain was predicted from quite early, however it was Thursday and so volunteer day and true to form we managed to work cutting rhododendron until just after midday before it started to rain. The ticket is almost all cut now, there is still a lot of tidying up to do but we are well on the way to getting rid of it.
With the Christmas break on the way I was trying to get some paperwork out of the way, to clear the way for our osprey platform and to create some new shallow pools. You might wonder what paperwork this would involve, but it seems that at least the first will need planning permission, so there is lots to do.
There was one report of note during the afternoon as the great grey shrike was seen in the main car park, it had prey of some sort and flew off with it towards the Goosander hide. Obviously a bird to look out for and if it is finding prey on the reserve perhaps it will be around regularly.