June Joys

We’re into June now and every week just seems to get busier and busier. It’s been  a warm and wet week and you can practically see the grass grow…but at least we’ve got the strimming started. Unfortunately this is a never-ending job at this time, and we’ve hardly had a chance to look at the wildlife this week. Lots of reserve staff will say that, at this time of year….we dunno what’s about, all we’ve seen is the front end of a mower or people!  However, wildlife highlight include more young birds are appearing all the time.  By far the easiest to photograph by far was this young robin, which was wandering gormlessly around the car park.  Fortunately it seemed to get the hang of escaping from people early on in the day, and has been hanging around in the bushes instead.

Young robin, not looking very robin - like

Young robin, not looking very robin – like

Still one adder this week, basking in the warm rain. It looks very dark in the damp grass.

Adder basking

Adder basking

Also spotted this nice roe doe, feeding down a Bogingore.

A roe doe grazing on a damp hollow.

A roe doe grazing on a damp hollow.

This dunnock decided to have a bath, in the gutter, in the pouring rain. Maybe it figured it was wet already?

An extremely wet and bedraggled dunnock

An extremely wet and bedraggled dunnock

A male redstart is always a nice touch of the exotic in a Scottish forest….they almost look like some sort of tropical bird with their bright colours. But these pine woods are great habitat for them and they’re most often found in pine woods in this part of the world.

Just hanging out...a lovely male redstart on a Scots pine tree

Just hanging out…a lovely male redstart on a Scots pine tree

A cuckoo, sitting on a rock, looking for meadow pipit nests.  At first glance, they look like a bird of prey, and that’s deliberate…they can briefly fool and scare off their host bird from the nest. But the pipits very quickly realise it’s a cuckoo, not a sparrowhawk , and chase them off. If the cuckoo does manage to lay an egg in a pipit nest, they won’t raise any young themselves, they’ll be too busy feeding the massive baby cuckoo…if you’ve been watching “Springwatch”, you’ll have seen the reed warblers with the young “Cuckoozilla”.

Cuckoo on the lookout for meadow pipit nests

Cuckoo on the lookout for meadow pipit nests

We also hosted a training day for countryside rangers this week. This was a great opportunity to pick up and share different skills, which we can then pass onto students or the public. These included natural crafts and, on a small scale, learning the sacred skill of fire keeping. This involves using a hoof fungus (well dried) to carry an ember from place to place…which would have kept you alive. Thank goodness all we need to do these days is remember a packed lunch!

Sharing skills in the rain

Sharing skills in the rain

Hoof fungus with ember

Hoof fungus with ember

Glowing hot, with a bit of puff

Glowing hot, with a bit of puff

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