A fond farewell to the Falls

As the water level of the river fluctuated this week, so did the busy days of the ranger team. Some days have been packed to the brim and others more relaxed, but all thoroughly enjoyable. The week was enlightened by kingfishers along the river, contrasting bright blue against the darker water. A chiffchaff’s song was loud and clear near mid-lodge, as was the sounds of two wrens bickering! Although usually elusive, a frog in the tree nursery pond poked his head out from under a lily pad and tentatively looked at us as we looked at it. It’s been a wonderful last week for me here at the Falls of Clyde; it won’t be easy to leave!

Frog in tree nursery pond (c) Lori Moore
Frog in tree nursery pond (c) Lori Moore

Monday saw the pleasure of having Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre seasonal ranger and intern on the reserve. They were keen to explore the wildlife in such a different setting to where they work, so a guided walk seemed fitting. As we walked, we shared tales of the reserves; the funny, the interesting and the down-right hectic!

Our practical conservation volunteers did a tremendous job of trimming hedges and cutting back vegetation along paths. Armed with bow saws, lopers and their usual cheer, the team made the paths neat and more pleasing to the eye. Similarly, our focus on paths made path strimming our next task in hand. The combination of sun and rain had caused huge growth so the effort was much needed. During this, I found a Poplar Hawk Moth in the middle of the path. It is a beautiful species, with fine detail to it’s uniquely shaped wings, which have a 65-90mm wingspan. It very quickly became my favourite species of moth!

Poplar Hawk-Moth (c) Lori Moore
Poplar Hawk-Moth (c) Lori Moore

Our wildlflower trail has been vastly updated as new flowers bloom and others come to the end of their season. With yellow pimpernel in the place of herb robert, and wood cranesbill blooming more than sanicle, the boardwalk is just as colourful. In the same day, we had an exciting viewing of watching a circlage of sand martins dive bomb a sparrowhawk. It swooped from tree to tree in the meadow, eventually flying further afield to escape. Shortly after, we saw a buzzard land in a tree close by, so two birds of prey within 10 minutes was brilliant! If this wasn’t enough excitement, then the sightings of 2 bats in bird nest boxes when completing the transect really topped it off superbly!

Sparrowhawk (c) Chas Moonie
Sparrowhawk (c) Chas Moonie

During my three months here, not a day has gone by where I haven’t been filled by the wonder and beauty of the waterfalls and reserve. It has been a privilege to work here and to learn from the fantastic ranger team. I may be a drop in the ocean for the reserve, but my time here will be reflected throughout my career. The work has been intense at times; my walking boots have survived an expedition to Peru, a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro and an internship in the Brazilian Atlantic rainforest. But the Falls of Clyde is where they’ve met their end. That says a lot about the work here but I wouldn’t change a thing! It has been a tremendous experience and I thank everyone who has made it so.

Lori Moore – Assistant Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust

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Preface

As the water level of the river fluctuated this week, so did the busy days of the ranger team. Some days have been packed to the brim and others more …

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