Despite some heavy rain there has been lots to see on the reserve this week. The wet weather has suited some of our animals very well as a common frog hopped right into my path while I was out on the reserve! Adult frogs don’t always stay near ponds but they need to keep their skin moist at all times. The rain may have encouraged this frog to come out of the damp grass, which made it much easier to spot!
Birds seen on the reserve this week have included Chaffinch, Blue tit, Great tit, Siskin, Wren, Robin, Blackbird and two buzzards. On the river we have had reports of dipper, mallards, and a grey heron flying lazily over Cora Linn.
This week in our moth trap we have recorded plenty of moths including large yellow underwing, muslin footman, beautiful golden Y, dark arches, lesser yellow underwing, lesser broad – bordered yellow underwing, swallow prominent, antler moth, pebble prominent, scalloped oak and brimstone. We have had sightings of green veined white and red admiral butterfly.
While walking along the board walk I spotted a common shrew running into the undergrowth. They are usually more active at night so it was lovely to catch a glimpse of such a tiny illusive mammal during the day. As they have such tiny bodies they have to eat every few hours to survive. Perhaps this one was out looking for an afternoon snack! A badger cub, two adult badgers and a fox were spotted on this week’s badger watch.
We still have plenty of wildflowers blooming on the reserve including hedge woundwort, marsh woundwort, dog rose, yellow flag iris, common spotted orchid, tormentil, oxeye daisy, black knapweed, yellow rattle, creeping buttercup, common hogweed, broad-leaved willowherb, marsh hawk’s-beard, fox glove, herb robert, pink purslane, yellow pimpernel, germander speedwell, water forget-me-not, meadowsweet, ragged robin, heath bedstraw, common cow wheat, slender St John’s wort, bush vetch, valerian and red campion. There are now huge numbers of brambles starting to ripen on the reserve. So in a few weeks there will be plenty of food for the birds and maybe even enough for a few pots of jam!
Feel free to send in your local sightings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rebecca Pincott – Volunteer Assistant Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust
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