Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Separating the wheat(ears) from the (chiff)chaffs

We have had our first migrant - a chiffchaff singing yesterday, a beautiful sound and a real herald of spring. These often dowdy little birds (picture top left) are one of the first migrants to arrive, along with sand martins and wheatears, from their wintering grounds in southern Europe and north Africa. I haven't seen (or heard) any other migrants yet, but definitely worth keeping an eye out.

The warm weather has also meant that Rangers and volunteers have been seen out and about in their summer plumage (aka shirt sleeves) too! I was out with our volunteers, Ernie and John (picture bottom left) this morning filling in potholes in the track up to the lighthouse, which, contrary to popular belief, is not a public road. This is something we do every spring when the potholes dry out and the weather gets warm enough to make the cold tarmac we use easily compactable. Definitely a job similar to painting the Forth Bridge, as there seems to be a never ending supply of holes! And before any of you say "why don't you do a better job rather than just patching it?" the answer to this is three fold: (a) we can't afford it; (b) the potholes will act as speed bumps; and (c) by keeping the track a little rough we hope this acts as a deterrent to too many people using it. We strive to keep traffic to a minimum as it is a nature reserve and vehicles disturb the peace and quiet, and so really only want it to be used by those who cannot walk up to the lighthouse and those accessing the lighthouse. So next time you are thinking of driving up the lighthouse track, please bear this in mind - and don't forget to put your two pounds into the cairn at the top to help us cover the costs of keeping the track open!

Speaking of migrants, another one will be appearing on the reserve next week, our new Seasonal Ranger will be landing at St Abbs on Monday...but more about that next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment