Loch Leven: Autumnwatch may have ended for the year, but Autumn continues to bring brown leaves, blustery days and plenty more wildlife to get out and experience!
Bats. Again, like the spiders, not everyone’s cup of tea. But you have to respect an animal that can fly from Lithuania to the UK! Loch Leven is quite good for bats with at least 5 species being recorded, including the Nathusius’s Pipistrelle which is the same species as the one that managed that record flight.
Due to our bats, we’ve had a few bat walks around the loch. We’re currently putting together the events program for 2017 so keep an eye out for the bat walk if you want to see some bats! The pines trees along at Burleigh is a good place to see them as we have lots of bat boxes up along there.
One of the most memorable parts of the show last night must have been those Mangalitsa pigs (the woolly ones)! They were helping to manage the heathland habitat that they have at Arne, whereas at Loch Leven we don’t have enough heathland to warrant purchasing and caring for a bunch of pigs.
We do manage it though as it’s a rare habitat around the loch, only being found at the edge of. The management technique we use is to cut it, which encourages the heather to grow but stops the grass from taking over. We’re already seeing a slow recovery of the heathland and hope to see it continue to re-establish itself in the area.
The Do Something Great campaign has hopefully encouraged people to get out and Do Something Great for Nature as they have promoted on Spring/Autumnwatch. As you’ve probably seen in many of our posts, we have a bunch of volunteers who help us around the reserve with many tasks that we quite simply couldn’t manage to do if it was just Jeremy and I.
From strimming down reeds to helping shift 70 bales to clearing out overgrown pond, the volunteers are always there to help out on Wednesdays! So here’s to the volunteers (I know some of you are reading), I’m going for a drink after work so will toast you with my Irn Bru before the drive home.
I feel one of the greatest things I do for nature is (hopefully) encourage and inspire others to go out and experience the things that I find myself. There really is no other way to experience the natural world than to get out and see it for yourself. Sure, some of my pictures may be pretty good but seeing that toad really close up for yourself or smelling a Stinkhorn mushroom from however many metres away is something you have to get out and do yourself.
This leads on quite nicely to the next segment of the show where we saw a cameraman showing us his favourite place in the world, where he’d been as a child and been completely captivated by the nature in the area.
Loch Leven is quickly becoming one of my favourite places. Spending time in a natural space, learning about it, seeing things that I wouldn’t often see and generally enjoying my time outdoors has helped Loch Leven become somewhere I really look forward to being at.
Anyway, I’m afraid I’ve run out of thing relevant to Autumnwatch to blog about. Therefore, I’ll point out that, amongst other things such as Justin Bieber, we’ve got loads of visitors to the area that you can go out and see. Take family, friends, anyone out around the loch and wonder at the numbers of geese and other ducks on the loch. I know I keep saying it but it really is amazing.
Also, you might catch sight of Jeremy in chest high water when he misjudged the depth whilst putting a new propeller on the boat. We’ll be doing quite a lot with the boat in a couple of days. Keep an eye on the blog for that next week!