Winter truly arrived here at Mennock with ice, snow and frost over several days; it didn’t stop the wildlife from visiting though.

Back in November before the cold weather arrived, we had the privilege of watching a female Sea Trout (Brown Trout) preparing the river bed and then laying her eggs whilst being closely watched by two males eager to fertilise them. Never once did she allow them near until she was finally happy with her choice of gravel or ‘Redd’. We watched the process of a few days and then they were gone.

New young Red Squirrels have arrived at the feeding stations. ‘Douglas Lugless’ so named because he had no ear tufts when he first started to visit and Tufty, a lovely dark coated Red with, yes you guessed it, magnificent ear tufts and a beautiful light tip to its tail.

Douglas or Tufty landed here!

They weren’t the only visitors to leave footprints in the snow, we were also excited to see Roe Deer footprints just outside the Book Warren Bothy.

The wild bird population have been busy telling all their friends that the Dalpeddar Diner is open and so we have seen twelve Long Tailed Tits visit everyday; Blue, Great and Coal Tits, Robins, Chaffinch, Wren, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Pigeons and Pheasants to name just a few. In the river, Goosander, Dippers and Heron have also been frequent visitors.

Don’t forget that January will see the return of the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch so get prepared by counting and recording what you see.

Become a birder with this brand-new children’s activity book from the RSPB. Joining the thousands of people who take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch every year has never been easier with this handy sticker book and birdwatching guide!

Discover useful tips on how to attract birds to your garden or windowsill, learn to identify common birds, follow step-by-step instructions to create a bird-feeder from household items and have a go at lots of fun activities. Wherever you live and whatever time of year it is, there are always birds to spot!The perfect gift for young nature lovers and budding birders, this book is bursting with fun activities to keep kids busy, with over 170 plastic-free stickers to stick-in scenes, colouring activities, word searches, dot-to-dots and more. This book encourages young readers to get out into nature and begin their birdwatching adventure!

That’s all for now folks, stay warm!