Hi Everyone!

This week we continue our series of blogs from our volunteers, this time its Daniel from the Czech Republic. Enjoy!

Please introduce yourself and tell us how you heard about the RSPB?

Hello readers, I am Daniel from Czech. I moved into Scotland just about eight months ago to study Zoology and Applied Bioscience at the University of West Scotland. Since then I have had a chance to see only a small part of the Scottish natural heritage, and it has had a big impact on me. I was gifted the RSPB handbook of birds by my partner and it was a wonderful and detailed introduction to all the bird species that are found here. This piqued my interest in RSPB and its conservation activities.

Why did you start volunteering with us?

Since my childhood, nature has played a huge part in my life. I grew up in the Elbe Lowlands in the Czech Republic, and was always fascinated with all the little discoveries I made across my trips to the local forests. Sadly, with time we are misusing our natural resources and have put it at high risk. This is what motivated me to find some active way to help preserve nature and avoid it reaching a point here it becomes irreplaceable. RSPB is one of the organisations which is working on this task successfully, so I decided to find out how can I contribute to its efforts.

What is your favourite wildlife experience?

As someone who spends plenty of time in nature, I have innumerable beautiful memories and experiences of wildlife and this makes it hard to pick just one of them. The memory which comes to mind the most often when I think of nature, or simply try to think of something pleasant in these stressful times, is from the Iron mountains in the Czech Republic and the view from the top of Beech Hill. What I saw was all the intricate details and complexity of nature revealed. The colourful mosaic of green fields, white orchards, yellow meadows and fresh green beech forests in the spring. Bees living in the forest pollinating meadows and orchards. Bird species nesting in the meadows catching the insects both there and in the fields. To top all this, a couple of beautifully coloured golden orioles with their smooth flute like voice. I spent two hours there, just enjoying the scenery, the love songs of orioles and the smell of blossoms.

What is your favourite species found on the reserve/in the area and why?

I have to say that it would be hard to pick one as I have many favourites. One of them is the Common Snipe. With its effective yet beautiful camouflage, colour patterns and big eyes; it appears like a character from an animated fairy-tale! This makes the Common Snipe appear elegant and innocent at the same time. Their ability to perfectly merge with vegetation makes it really challenging to see them. That is partially the reason why I like to see them so much because just noticing them is something exceptional. I go home feeling happy and with the satisfaction that it was a good day.

Snipe (Credit RSPB Images)

Any future ideas or plans you would like to pursue in conservation?

For me, nature is an important source of relaxation and recuperation. We are all going through some strange times where we cannot know what the future holds. While it is uncertain how things will be, no matter what I do, I would like to align my interests always with that of nature. I believe that we can conserve nature effectively only if majority of people are made aware of the consequences. For now, I would like to redirect my efforts towards Baron’s Haugh volunteering initiative and from there I would like to figure out my way as I go.