Embracing the New Normal

Yesterday we were allowed to resume on site at Muir of Dinnet for the first time since lockdown began. Woohoooo! We learnt the good news on Wednesday late afternoon after spending a tense day with everything crossed.

To say it feels fantastic and I am giddy with joy and relief would be an understatement!

Our ways of working and the way the reserve will work for visitors have adapted to keep us all safe. This is a dynamic situation so please bear with us while we make this transition and get our facilities up and running.

Currently the visitor center and the toilets remain closed while we put in place a safe distancing and sanitising strategy.

I am going to let the reserve speak for itself today.

What a truly beautiful place it is and on a 5 hour walk around I may have got slightly over-stimulated by the wildlife and the landscape, whilst making copious mental notes of where to strim first and what fire-pits to dismantle.

I took photo’s of nearly everything I could see and for this maiden voyage we took some aerial footage and believe me – even if you know the reserve well – you will have never seen it from this birds eye view before. Lucky birds! We were cruising at a discreet height of 3oo ft.

We don’t encourage use of drones as they disturb wildlife and other visitors quiet enjoyment of the countryside. This footage was taken by an approved operator under strict supervision. Please if you have questions regarding drone flying or broader questions please go to:

https://www.nature.scot/professional-advice/safeguarding-protected-areas-and-species/protected-areas/national-designations/national-nature-reserves/visitor-questions

You might want to make yourself a cup of tea, find your comfiest chair and put on some relaxing music for this. Tranquil views for a rainy day. If you watch only one I would go for Crannog Island.

Thank – you so much to John McIntosh for accompanying and taking this amazing footage. Enjoy!

Parkin’s Moss

Our raised peat bog is flowering with bog cotton. The tufts of cottony bristles, drooping from the stems give the plant a strange habit all of its own and they flutter like a sea of hares tails – a name they are also known by.

Another bog specialist Bog asphodel is flowering and its golden star shaped flowers light up the boardwalk trail.

Bog asphodel was used as a substitute for saffron and as a yellow hair-dye in western and northern Britain.
An airborne tour of Parkin’s Moss

Loch Kinord

This juvenile and newly independent Greater Spotted woodpecker was feeding on dead standing birch. With a tongue that can protrude some 40mm beyond the tip of its bill to scoop out wood boring insects and spiders.

Delightfully fragrant wild thyme is flowering in small clusters within the woodland in sunny clearings.

A protective Oyster catcher mum and chick. This very noisy wading bird with a loud ‘peep-ing’ call has moved further inland over the last 50 years to breed on waterways and lakes.
A brand new small tortoiseshell Butterfly. Though one of our most widespread and familiar butterflies, occurring throughout the British Isles it has suffered some worrying declines in recent years.
I wondered where our greylag geese were until I came across this one huge group of adults and goslings.
A mute swan flyover. It was great to hear the unmistakable sound of their deep powerful wing-beats.
The limpid calm loch caught the moody clouds scudding by to perfection

Little Ord and Loch Davan

Small Heath butterfly. This small inconspicuous butterfly flies only in sunshine and rarely settles more than a metre above the ground. Its wings are always kept closed when at rest. 
A mother Mallard and her five tiny ducklings
Usually only seen in snippets from the shoreline Loch Davan in all its glory
The old field enclosures of Old Kinord and our iron age hut circles – can you spot the lesser known hut circles in the woods .

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.