Bits and pieces, and some beaches

It’s been an odd jobs, bits-and-pieces, week this week. The highlight of which is of course the commencing of the rebuild of the Mill Hide! Works began smoothly and we’re already seeing some good progress with it’s creation. Please note that this section of the Heritage Trail will remain closed until the rebuild is complete. Follow the diversion signs in the car park and along the high street – we are checking the route regularly to ensure everything is signed as it should be, but do let us know if something seems amiss.

Diversion route, from the pier car park to the train monument junction

Tuesday took me away from my usual office and quite a bit further north, up to Forvie National Nature Reserve. As a practical placement I am provided oppertunities to try out things beyond my day to day tasks and responsibilities. This includes the occasional chance to visit other reserves, to help out with specific tasks that could use an extra hand or two. So this week I headed up to Forvie NNR to help set up the boundary fence around the ternary (see more here), which also provided a chance to explore the reserve a bit, meet the team and get a bit of wildlife watching in. In just a few hours I learned a great deal about the many confounding issues facing the different species found on the reserve, as well as feeling a definite strain in my legs from walking along the windy sand dunes!

Forvie NNR
A scene not unlike St Serfs during summer, with black headed gulls moving in to nest

Back to Loch Leven and my, there is warmth in that sun today! After a computer based day yesterday (very un-blog-worthy), I was keen to make the most of the good weather. So I ended the week with a cycle round the reserve. These are good to do semi-regularly to check over everything around the reserve in greater detail than we can sometimes spot while doing other tasks. In this instance, I was paying particular attention to any patchwork our fencing may need – in the run up to the bird breeding season it’s important to ensure they won’t be accidentally disturbed. Bird feeders needed filling up, litter needed picking, and some signs required a bit of TLC. Little jobs that, on their own, wouldn’t take me even close to a whole day. But add them all together and you end up with a good few hours to fill, and that’s no bad thing when the weather is as beautiful as this!

A stop off at the Levenmouth hide yeilded busy scenes of moorhen, mallard, mute swans, teal and even a pair of shoveler! They’re impossible to mistake for anything else, since their beaks are like, well, shovels! A yearly first for me and a nice addition to the list, I also heard several yellowhammer giving their characterisitc “a little bit of bread and no cheese” call (they really do sound like this!) as well as spotting a brilliantly yellow male in a hedge to the side of the trail. Reports say that the first of the sand martins have been spotted in the area too, though I wasn’t so lucky as to see any today, and many have heard chiffchaffs singing again.

A male shoveler (front centre), male teal (left) and mallard pair (back centre)
A juvenile cormorant (note the pale belly) perched on the pier at Findatie beach

Snowdrops and daffodils have been popping up everywhere too, bringing some long awaited colour back to our plant life. It’s getting me excited for the season to continue, I can’t wait for our wildflower meadows to be buzzing and fluttering with life again. A beautiful end to the week, and I think if the forecast is correct I’ll be spending most of my weekend outdoors too!

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1 Response to Bits and pieces, and some beaches

  1. Anne says:

    Your enthusiasm is infectious!

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