Today is my last day as the Falls of Clyde assistant ranger and it’s been a really enjoyable time here. This week we went on a reserve trip to some of the reserves in Dumfries and Galloway to help carry out some reserve safety inspections. Of all the reserves we visited, Southwick Coast which lies on the Solway Firth was a highlight of mine. The reserve is home to some beautiful Oak woodland and extends outwards onto an area of Salt Marsh which is dotted with some fantastic rocky formations formed millions of years ago.
Spending my Saturday evenings taking groups of people up to see badgers has been really rewarding. When you see how happy they are after seeing a badger for the first time it makes it all worth it. It has been made extra special by all the sun we have been having but I am hoping that we get some rain soon so that the badgers have more luck finding earthworms. This week while I was out on patrol I found evidence of at least five bumble bee nests that had been dug out by badgers. In periods like this where we have had little rain they will be eating less earthworms and foraging for other food sources. They are amazing animals and I will definitely be checking in on the Falls of Clyde badgers in the future.
As well as the badgers, there have been some stand out sightings for me. Seeing a fox cub at close range one afternoon was pretty special because it was rather curious and came to within ten metres at one point. Discovering a nuthatch nest was enjoyable because I kept up the tradition of seasonal rangers seeing a nuthatch on site where as our permanent ranger Laura has still never seen one. Hearing all of the birds singing has been cool and also learning more about the vast array of invertebrates we have on site.
The practical tasks have always been fun too, from stimming paths, to painting fences, and putting out signs to clearing overhanging vegetation there has never been a dull moment at the Falls of Clyde.
I would like to thank Laura, Steve and Lindsay for giving me the opportunity to come and work here. I have really enjoyed my time here and look forward to returning as a visitor in the not too distant future. It has been nice working with the interns Camille, Vicki and Cait too and I wish them well in the next stages of their careers.
Falls of Clyde Assistant Ranger
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