They say one swallow doesn’t make a summer so when a single bird flew over the boardwalk on the 9th I tried not to get too excited, however on the 11th numbers increased with a small flock busy hawking over the River Clyde next to the visitor centre in the company of the reserve’s first sand martins of the year.
Migrant birds certainly took advantage of the good weather with a handful of new chiffchaffs spread across the reserve, c.45 pink-footed geese over New Lanark (8th) and c.10 fieldfare on the woodland trail (11th). Butterflies observed on the wing this week included peacock and green-veined white. Meanwhile warmer nightime temperatures led to increased moth activity with trapping dominated by hebrew characters.
Yellow horned moth was one of the highlights from moth trapping on the reserve this week.
Three peregrine falcons were observed from the watchpoint on the 11th, our pair giving away the presence of an intruder through gazing upwards and the male bird emitting a clucking call. Interestingly our pair made no attempt to mob the interloper who drifted off without any confrontation.
Other interesting sightings from the past week included, a Nuthatch around the Hall of Mirrors and male Yellowhammers singing near Bonnington weir.
With the current weather forecast not looking fantastic for visible bird migration I’d suggest visitors should look out for nest building long-tailed tit. Triggered by increasing day length and generally warmer temperatures this skilful builder is currently busy collecting moss, lichen and spiders webs to make a rather delicate and well camouflaged domed nest which is lined with a mass of feathers.
Adam Jones – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Seasonal Ranger
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