As usual, the last month or so has seen me share my time between Baron’s Haugh and Airds Moss reserves and there’s been lots to keep me busy at both.

 

At Airds Moss, the monitoring programme we have been doing with the East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative has been rolling on. Last month saw us monitoring the dipwells that are located all over the reserve, to see if the areas we are working to re-wet are responding. We will continue with this monitoring and it will give us a good idea if the methods we are currently employing are working or if we need to tweak things. We then installed a load more dipwells to get a more representative view across the whole site. It was a good day and it’s certainly a site for blowing the cobwebs away! A big thank you as always to Jen and Daisy from CEI for helping us so much with this work.


The stalwart CEI volunteers digging a hole for a new dipwell and, below, the new one in position complete with high tech rain guard.

 

With my Baron’s Haugh hat on, on 4th September I was at a country fair at the museum of rural life to publicise the reserve and encourage visitors to attend some of the events we have coming up in the autumn and winter. It was a great day and I spoke to lots of interested people. I spoke to one lady who’s father is 80 and has seen 4,500 different species of birds across the globe! Quite a feat. The next week myself and our community fundraising officer Louise did a fundraising collection at Morrisons, Baillieston where we raised £285, and on Sunday 11th September, we ran an event at the reserve as part of the Glasgow Wildfest, which runs throughout the month of September across Glasgow and its conurbations. It was a lovely day and the weather held for us surprisingly. Highlight species we saw on the walks were: painted lady butterfly, black-tailed godwits, dunlin, lapwing and a really good view of a fox in one of the paddocks. At first we thought it was chasing the magpies, but actually I think it was the other way round! If you get a chance to attend some of the Wildfest events, I would definitely recommend it.  For more information contact the RSPB Glasgow office on 0141 331 0993 or head over to http://www.rspb.org.uk/whatwedo/scotland/glasgow/wildlifegardenfestival/ .

 

 Our stand at the country fair attracted lots of nice folk and, below, a painted lady butterfly which was enjoying the Motherwell sunshine!

So, how can you get involved? Well, our next event at Baron's Haugh is on Tuesday 18th October, where the focus will be on Getting Arty in Nature. You can book onto this event through the Baron’s Haugh events webpage as usual.  After that, our focus will shift to the winter arrivals at the reserve on Sunday 6th November when we will hopefully see an influx of ducks, geese and swans which will be with us throughout the colder months.

 

In addition, if you would like to volunteer at the reserve, please contact mark.mitchell@rspb.org.uk or ring 07872814911. There's always lots we need help with. 

 

I’ll hopefully see you there.

 

Mark.

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