Wildlife Diary 23rd October

With all the excitement about our young Osprey Blue YZ completing her first migration successfully, we’ve been forgetting somewhat to keep you up to date with what else is happening at Loch of the Lowes and SWT’s other Perthshire reserves this autumn.

After the first decent summer for several years, we have had a mild and dry autumn so far- broken only this week with some very heavy but much needed rain. The loch is now back up to its ‘normal’ autumn level and the marshes and ponds in the area are well filled which is good. You will have probably noticed too the bumper crop of wild wood foods this autumn- tree seeds, acorns, berries and fungi are all in good supply, again for the first time in a while. This autumn bounty is vital for so much of our wildlife to fatten up on and store for the winter ahead.

The woods around the loch are echoing with the calls of the Fallow deer rut, and the Rowan trees are attracting newly arrived Redwings and Feildfares. On the Loch, the numbers of Goldeneye and Tufted duck have swelled and dozens of Greylag Geese have arrived. We even had three Shoveler duck yesterday too, with their distinctive filter feeding bills.

The autumn colours around the loch are at their most glorious right now- the whole area is ablaze with colour!  Why not visit and try your hand at capturing it with a camera? If you want to learn how to do so like a pro, we have just one space left on our bespoke Digital Landscape Photography course this coming weekend- call us now if you’d like to join us!

Autumn at Loch of the Lowes
Autumn at Loch of the Lowes

Your ranger team have been busy doing reserve maintenance and some very wet and messy jobs indeed. Here is a picture of the gallant Volunteer team tackling some routine pond maintenance work at our Keltneyburn reserve, to keep it as optimal habitat for dragonflies.  A BIG thank-you to the stalwart local volunteers who turned out to help.

Keltneyburn Pond Restoration 2013- SWT
Keltneyburn Pond Restoration 2013- SWT
Cold, wet and messy but satisfying work! - SWT
Cold, wet and messy but satisfying work! – SWT

 

Lastly, it is this time of year when we sadly say goodbye to our  trainee assistant rangers who have worked so hard with us this year. These residential volunteers, Rachel, Shayl and Sarah, along with Adam earlier in the season, have contributed so much to the behind the scenes work on all the five local reserves, as well as helping me run events and education days. They have been a wonderful team  and I cannot thank them enough for all the skills, enthusiasm and ideas they have contributed. They will each be sorely missed and we wish them all the best in their future conservation careers.

Ranger Emma

 

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Preface

With all the excitement about our young Osprey Blue YZ completing her first migration successfully, we’ve been forgetting somewhat to keep you up to date with what else is happening …

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