It’s always nice to start a blog with some exciting bird news, and this blog certainly has that! Over the past week or so, on and off, we’ve had an unusual visitor to the reserve, namely an alpine swift! As you can see from the photo below, this is different to the swifts we usual see at the reserve in the summer, mainly distinguished by its white front. It was wowing visitors flying fast over the paddocks looking for insects and it was a joy to behold! I’ve never seen this species in the UK before. In fact, I’ve only seen this bird once before and that was in Dubrovnik, Croatia.


Photo by Frank Gibbons.


As well as lots of lovely birds, we’ve been treated to great views of otters, both on the Clyde and on the Haugh itself. A great place to look for them is in the big meander in the river, where there is a fallen tree and a bench.


Photo by Mark Mitchell


We’ve not just been sat around watching the wildlife though – we’ve been hard at work improving the reserve for wildlife and people alike. We thinned a bit of woodland which will improve the air circulation and increase the amount of sunlight getting to the woodland floor which will probably improve this habitat for wildflowers and insects like butterflies. With the cut material, we created habitat piles which will benefit insects and maybe even birds like wrens and dunnocks.


Photo by Mark Mitchell.


As well as this, a gang of us worked really hard on the first Saturday of March doing a litter pick around a fairly substantial area of the reserve and we picked up approximately 50 bags of litter, as well as various other bits and bobs!


Photo by Mark Mitchell.



A huge thank you must go to our dedicated volunteers who helped with this, along with all the other work we have done on the reserve in this period. Thanks guys!


All the best,