As result of the mild weather everything seems somewhat slow on the wildfowl front and the likelihood of a smew being dislodged seems remote at present. That said there have been a few interesting gulls on the wild waters of the reservoirs:
Another plug as well - Gayna Wallis has been one of our members for a long time and in another pursuit has recently compiled a history of RAF Carnaby nearby - a great read and Christmas present all the proceeds are going towards a permanent memorial for the airmen at the former airfield:
Otherwise welcome sightings have included raven again on the 3rd of December, cetti's prolific on the southern site and some big thrush flocks on the road in. A few pink feet have been over but again most have now gone through south to the beet fields of Anglia, and a pair of grey partridge on the road was a welcome though increasingly uncommon sight - and little owl was as ever keeping its distance from the reserve at Angram Farm recently.
Less welcome was the 6th american mink to be removed since September - video'd on trail camera in happier times the week prior:
Again - we do still have a number of mink rafts we can pass on. If you are responsible for a section of river or know someone that is, and you can check on a raft and trap daily (even if its only two or three days in succession a week) we'd love to hear from you on the addresses above as at the moment Tophill's native wildlife is under mink siege.
However a brighter glimmer in that you may recall we a had a lesser spotted woodpecker sighting reported a couple of months ago. We've since had a further two reports including on the fat feeder in the woods. So a challenge for all you photographers is to nail it once and for all.
Meanwhile the reserve will be open every day including Christmas so if you'd rather avoid the in-laws and seek out another velvet scoter like last year get stuck in. And of course there are the spectacular Tophill Low Christmas illuminations to admire courtesy of Duncan and the guys in the Works: