As mentioned in the previous post, Himalayan Balsam takes priority at this time of year as it is important we get rid of as much as possible whilst it’s yet to develop seed heads. This means it’s been another week of balsam bashing for rangers and volunteers alike.
However, I won’t bore you with more before and after pictures. Instead, I’ll let you know how well the Osprey walk at Burleigh Sands went yesterday (Thursday 18th August).
It started off well, with Ospreys being seen flying over (albeit distantly) but the excitement happened in the last 10 minutes of the event! An Osprey that had been drifting about in front of us (and had already failed a catch) successfully caught a fish not far from the viewers that had decided to stick it out to the end.
Earlier in the week we had a trip out to St Serf’s Isle with Scott, the farmer, his 2 sheepdogs, and Dave, a micropalaeontologist.
Obviously, Scott was there to deal with the sheep. This time we were out in order to check the feet of the sheep for rot. Some had signs of foot rot but we put them through a wee foot bath and let them get back to doing what sheep do best; keeping down the vegetation on St Serf’s.
Dave, the micropalaeontologist, had come all the way from Queen Mary University of London in order to find out whether one species of ostracod crustacean was present in the loch. Ostracods are tiny bivalve crustaceans (sort of like clams) that can be found in the sediment at the bottom of some lochs and other water bodies.
The species Dave was looking for is called Cytherissa lacustris. He took samples back with him so he could figure out whether he’d found what he was looking for, and will let us know in time whether we have Cytherissa lacustris living at the bottom of the loch!
The wildlife on the reserve has been enjoying the recent sunny weather, with Black Darter dragonflies being seen darting about, Red Admirals on the wing, Barnacle Geese in the fields around RSPB Loch Leven, and plenty of lovely flowers out soaking up the rays.