We’ve reached an exciting time of year when increasing day length and slightly milder weather triggers an urge in wildlife to begin the journey to their breeding grounds. For the reserve’s Peregrine pair this movement will have been relatively short distance with the birds likely to have stayed in the immediate area during the winter. However over the past few weeks long distance travellers have been seen regularly passing over and through the reserve including flocks of Pink-footed Geese and Whooper Swans destined for Iceland. Redwing and Fieldfare en route to Scandinavia have been seen feasting on the last remaining berries of the winter and increasingly foraging in fields for earthworms, this included a mixed flock of over 100 thrushes near Bonnington Weir on 25th March, always a delight to watch.
Over 1500 migratory Pink-footed Geese have been resting just off the reserve in fields near Hyndford Bridge (c) Adam Jones.
Birds are not the only animals on the move with amphibians such as common frogs and toads now marching towards the reserves spawning pools, with our first frog spawn recorded on the 10th March. A single pipistrelle bat observed foraging around the Peregrine Watch at dusk on 19th March being another first for me this year.
The weather plays a big role in determining what you might see whilst strolling around the reserve. I thought I’d finish this blog highlighting what the current forecast for the week ahead might mean in terms of wildlife at the Falls of Clyde.
Well, it looks like low pressure is set to dominate resulting in a predominantly westerly airflow. This is likely to slow down the rate of spring bird migration as conditions are neither great for birds to enter Scotland from the south or leave our shores to head north. However, the large skein of Pink-footed Geese is therefore likely to hang around in the local area for a while longer, so it’s worth listening and looking out for “pink-feet” flying over the reserve to and from feeding areas.
Adam Jones – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger
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