Yesterday, we took a trip around Montrose Basin in order to see the estuary up close and personal. Emma, the Visitor Centre Assistant Manager, Raymond, our intern and I (David, CJS Visitor Centre Assistant) finally decided that we had spent far too long in the centre itself without seeing the beautiful reserve that we have at our fingertips.
Our journey began at the Lurgies. Going between the Old Montrose Pier and the Bridge of Dun, this gorgeous combination of reedbeds, grasslands, river and mud provides a wonderful opportunity for both nature watching and leisurely strolling. We had hoped to see Wood Pigeon, Godwit or Little Grebe, amongst other species, but beyond a couple of Mute Swans, we were rather unlucky.
It was at this point that the mist which had hindered our vision that morning threatened to make a comeback, but we persevered. Emma drove along to the Old Mill car park, which is the starting point for both walks to the Wigeon Hide and the Shelduck Hide. Beyond a small area of woodland, the track takes you through open farmland, giving you breathtaking views of Montrose Basin, as well as potential sightings of not just Wigeon and Shelduck, but also Linnet, Curlew and Skylark, before culminating at either Hide (depending on which way you go).
Following this, we headed back towards the town, and Tayock. At this point, the mist had completely covered Montrose and all of its surroundings. We anticipated seeing plenty of Finches and Eider ducks, and potentially even some remaining Pink-footed Geese, but what we received was an almost eerily grey Montrose Basin, a sighting of a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, a Buff-tailed Bumblebee queen and a dog that kindly obliged in sniffing our legs.
After a quick stop at Montrose Railway Station to see if the view was any clearer (it wasn’t) we went back to the Visitor Centre to discover that the mist was nowhere to be found. We were unable to decide whether the trip had been a successful or not, but one thing was clear: even in the dullest weather imaginable to man, the beauty of Montrose Basin still shines through.
You too can go on the walks mentioned in this blog. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/1agg1eh or drop into the Montrose Basin Visitor Centre.
Don’t forget we have some excellent events coming up. Wednesday 8th and 15th April we have our ‘Wild about the Basin’ children’s activities, as well as our ‘Wonderful Wildflower’s’ event on Saturday 11th April.
David Murray – CJS Visitor Centre Seasonal Assistant