By Volunteer Marjorie Hutchin

One of the bonuses of being a Thursday work party volunteer is seeing wildlife on the reserve while you’re working. Today we met up at Rogersceugh and before we had even set off for the morning’s work a barn owl flew below the drumlin and landed on a post. As we walked down to the bog we heard the squeal of a water rail and the barn owl flew ahead of us and posed beautifully for everyone. 

The job today was removing birch scrub from the bog. If left to its own devices the downy birch, which spreads very easily, would take over and dry out our very rare lowland raised mire. So we’re having a blitz to remove as much as we can by pulling it out or cutting it down with loppers or bow saws. As we worked our way across the bog we came across plants of the lovely delicate bog rosemary and big patches of cranberries with bright red berries. Not the same as the American ones we have at Christmas, so no Cranberry sauce from this lot!

 

Tea break at 11.00 is a ritual on a Thursday morning and we sat on the boardwalk for a cuppa, a snack and the all-important chat, enjoying the warmth and the absence of rain. A light breeze came up and the midges which had bothered us earlier, mercifully disappeared.

 

It’s surprising how much work a group of people can get done in a morning and by lunchtime quite a lot of birch had been removed. There’s always more to do though and next week we’ll have another go at it before we move on to other jobs on the reserve.

 

A large flock of teal flew up from a pool as we walked back up to the shelter at Rogersceugh for a well-earned lunch. As we ate our sandwiches a raven flew over and a peregrine was seen circling nearly overhead, while swallows zoomed around making the most of the flies we could hardly see. A very large flock of linnets was seen heading for the specially planted arable field beyond the farm buildings. More chat over lunch and a chance to catch up on the latest news on the reserve from Mhairi, the Warden and Dave, Site Manager.

  (Pic: Judith Rogers)

 

We’d love to have more people join us on a Thursday morning, so if you have time to spare, like being outdoors and don’t mind getting grubby and occasionally damp why not join us. You’ll be making an important contribution to a nature reserve. Mhairi Maclauchlan RSPB Warden, will give you more information, Email Mhairi.Maclauchlan@rspb.org.uk or phone Campfield Marsh RSPB Reserve on 01697 351330

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