The Countryside team has been busy with a number of different jobs over the past few weeks with general path maintenance being high on the list to help visitors get the most out of their visit to NTS properties in Dumfries and Galloway, selective strimming on paths around the reserve and gardens helps to keep paths clear of vegetation making it far easier to enjoy the estate. By selective strimming rather than strimming all vegetation to the side of the path helps to ensure that plants that are beneficial to insects and other wildlife are not cut but instead left so that they can be used by a wide range of insect and animal life.
Our pair of Ospreys were noted to have changed their behaviour just over a week ago which suggested that chicks had hatched. The female (Blue KC) has continued to brood the young and so far they have been keeping their heads down so we can't currently confirm how many young we have! Behaviour from the female feeding young would however suggest that this year we again have two chicks, but more information on that when we get it!
|One of our 2011 chicks during ringing|
Its not just the Ospreys that are doing well around the reserve either, Spotted Flycatcher can be found nesting in the Oak trees in Meikle wood and Tree Sparrows are on the up with pairs being found nesting in natural crevices in ash trees on the reserve, a bird that has been hit hard by agricultural change in the past 50 years its great to see this bird of farmland starting to regain a foothold on the reserve.
As well as our resident Tree Sparrows you can also find Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler and Whitethroat proclaiming their territories and singing from bushes, sedge and reeds right around the reserve, don't forget to listen out for Cuckoo either!
So with lots of activity around the reserve from Mammals to Birds and beyond why not make a visit and look at the Osprey nest from the dedicated Osprey platform with the help of our volunteers?
Blog written by Samuel Hood (Countryside Volunteer)