Home and Away

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Since the last time I blogged I’ve been down to Gloucestershire and up to Shetland. Like Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen I’m continually on tour. I’ve even managed to fit in some work in between trips away.

The volunteers have been out cutting with our new toy.  Loch Leven NNR is a partnership between a number of organisations. This includes Perth and Kinross Council. They very kindly lent us a flail mower to test around the trail. This machine will do a more controlled cut and is a less fearsome sight than the teeth of an Allan Scythe.

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PKC kindly sent one of their chaps down to  demonstrate the cutter to our volunteers. So much flourescent that I needed my shades on.

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We also gave a demonstration of our Scythe to our colleagues at the RSPB. They were looking for a lightweight solution to top rushes and cut around the predator fence.

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It’s that time of year everything gets a scalp. The hedge at the Kirkgate viewpoint was cut. We’ve got a new safer and more efficient electrical hedge trimmer.

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Liz and Mary enjoy the view over the recently topped hedge.

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We’ve done hardly any moth trapping because of the weather but this Butterbur moth was a good find. They are a difficult moth to trap as they rarely go a distance from their food plant. This is the 4th we’ve caught in the last 2 years.

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This beautifully marked moth is likely to be a Svensens Copper Underwing. This moth is closely related to the Copper Underwing. the two species are difficult to separate but Svensens is more likely round here. It makes a change from Dark Arches which fill the trap in July.

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The Loch Leven team is part of a larger unit that covers the area of Tayside and Grampian. Every year we meet up for an away day. This year we met at Royal Deeside and met folk from the Invercauld Estate to discuss wildlife management on the estate and members of the Pearls in Peril team and the work they’ve done along the River Dee to help protect Freshwater Pearl Mussels.

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Here is a shot of Craig Nisbet on Noss. I popped up to see him for the weekend. He’s still summering on Shetland and has another fortnight or so left up there.

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The Gannets are still busy in the colony on Noss.

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We enjoyed a bit of birdwatching up there and were lucky enough to between us find the first Pectoral Sandpiper for Noss. This small wader has been blown over the Atlantic in the recent storms.

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Maybe we’ll see an American wader at Loch Leven in the next few weeks with all these storms stateside. We’ve seen a few Pectoral Sandpipers, Bairds Sandpiper and thie White-rumped Sandpiper on St Serfs in October 2011.

 

 

About @jeremysquire

Naturalist living in Kinross-shire originally from Gloucestershire. Twitter @Jeremysquire
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