At the beginning of March, at one of the last work parties before lockdown, the Thursday Volunteers sowed wild flower seeds
on the bunds created to keep people apart from the electric predator fence.
The following two months or more were the driest most of us can remember and the lack of rain made us wonder if any of the seeds would germinate; but when Neil and I walked round the blue trail this week we were pleasantly surprised to find plants in flower on the bunds. Amongst them are cornflowers, poppies and marigolds, not in large numbers but still a lovely sight. Hopefully the seed which doesn’t germinate will lie dormant in the ground until next spring.
The hide and visitor centre are closed for now but the trails on the reserve are open now and it’s well worth a walk round, whether you take the blue route or the red one or carry on up to Rogersceugh. We’ve had a walk round every week since the reserve opened again and there’s always something to see.
On the walk up to Rogersceugh the lilies were in flower on the lily pond.
At the end of May, up on the moss, we heard cuckoos calling as we walked up to Rogersceugh. On the way back we were lucky enough to see two cuckoos fly right in front of us. They tried to land on one of the solitary trees on the moss but flew on when they were harassed by stonechats. We saw three groups of stonechats that day up on the moss and skylarks were singing.
A week or two later on a walk round the red route we saw a snipe drumming and flying in a big circle overhead. It continued for twenty minutes as we walked along the boardwalk and paused for a cup of tea. On that same walk a cuckoo flew past as we paused by the willow carr. Another two were calling in the swamp and flew into wood two. We have had more sightings of cuckoos at Campfield this year than ever before.
Last week as we walked down the lonning we heard the sound of wader chicks in the Paisley pools and then spotted a redshank alarm calling from the top of one of the posts of the predator fence. The fence has done its job!
Back in February it was a struggle to get along some of the paths on the reserve even in wellies. There was deep mud everywhere. The contrast now is unbelievable with many parts of the reserve bone dry and it’s easy walking on all the paths.
Campfield is well worth a visit.
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