Join Wigtown's wildlife officer to survey swifts around Wigtown. Meet at Wigtown County Buildings tomorrow, Wednesday 12th at 6pm. These enigmatic master flyers are in decline across the UK. Fidn out way and waht you can do to help them. Make a valuable contribution to their survival by helping to survey these beautiful birds. This allows breeding sites to be identified and protected and for valuable information to be collected for further monitoring of this species. Come and join in and do your bit for nature!
It looks like our ospreys are rather camera shy. While there is evidence that they are still using the nest in the evening and through the night to roost, there is no activity at the nest during the day. Extra dry grass keeps appearing in the nest bowl so our new female is adding the finishing touches but where do they go during the day? If you have seen an osprey locally please do let us know.
This past beautifully sunny Sunday, Port William hosted the annual World Oceans Week celebrations. Great fun was had by everyone with Galloway Activity Centre providing sea kayaking and archery, and wildfood foraging with Mark Williams of Galloway Wildfoods. The RSPB had a stall highlighting the ever increasing problem of marine litter and on a more light-hearted note ran a popular beach art competition. Enya with her 'Crusty Crab', no.17 scooped 1st prize, a soft toy penguin; Oscar & Leo from Newton Stewart won 2nd prize for their tower of stone; and 3rd Prize went to Maisie Murray from Port William. A full underwater scene by the Patchett family and a mermaid by Abby, Ella & Faith, complete with green seaweed tail came joint 4th place. Well done to everyone who took part, all were fantastic entries with great imagination!
The RSPB has a Marine Protection Areas campaign on the go at the moment. The Scottish government has taken a very positive step to helping the environment by creating Marine Protection Areas, sadly they are ignoring the plight of our seabirds with this landmark move. We need to protect the feeding areas at sea that our seabirds use to ensure that our internationally important seabird colonies around the UK have access to sufficient food to feed their chicks. Each year fewer seabirds return to the cliffs to breed as they are finding it increasing difficult to find enough food to reach breeding condition. We must give them as much help as we can and provide protection for their known feeding areas. If you'd like to help this campaign, check out www.rspb.org.uk/choosesealife
Despite seeing nothing on the nest yesterday; early morning watching revealed that a female has arrived at the nest!!! Love is definitely in the air, a brief mating was seen at 7am. A fish was brought into the nest and the female was seen eating it near the nest. She's been spending more time perching on the branches round the tree rather than on the nest. Maybe she's not too happy with his nest-building work. Both soared up into the sky together at 9am. More news as it comes. Come down to the Visitor Centre for the latest news and to catch a glimpse of our PAIR!
Great news everyone! Our osprey camera is back working again - so we now have a love picture back in the Visitor Centre, Wigtown County Buildings. Our male, EP was seen yesterday in the vicinity of the nest, sitting on a fence post. Looks like he's still on his own at the nest, although there could be 2 males in the area.
2nd June sees the start of World Oceans Week, highlighting the plight of our maine animals and the state of our seas. Events will be held at Rockcliffe (2nd June) and at Port William (9th June). The RSPB will be attending both events, drop in for family fun and information about the work of the RSPB in safeguarding our seas.
Litter is a growing problem in the marine environment. The amount of rubbish has increased 10% in the last 20 years. Most of it plastic (between 60 and 90%) which persists for between 100 & 1000 years before breaking down to oil-based chemicals further polluting the seas. The really scary thing is that 64% of the rubbish comes from public land-based activities e.g. beach picnics, bbq's, recreational fishing and rubbish blown into rivers and sewers. 25% of all the rubbish comes from smoking e.g. discarded cigerette ends and lighters. All that means WE are to blame and changing our behaviour will have a HUGE impact on the quantity of rubbish in our seas. But don't be disheartened - YOU CAN HELP. Think about waht happens to your rubbish and reduce, reuse and recycle all that you can. Challenge those who drop litter - peer pressure is the best way to change behaviour. And TAKE PART in any local clear-up operations. Our next big clear-up at the Crook of Baldoon will be held on Saturday 8th June, from 2-4pm. Litter pickers, bags and gloves provided but bring warm, waterfproof clothing, wellies and sun-screen (if we're lucky!)
You could set-up your own beach-clean too; contact Nic Coombey, Coastal Ranger; firstname.lastname@example.org, 01387 251991. Pick up the latest copy of Tidelines for further details.
Big shout out to all music fans. The RSPB will be having a stand at Knockengorroch World Ceilidh this year. We'll be getting mucky with paints and glue, making masks and hats and paper kites. Join us for the bird quiz on Saturday afternoon for a bit of fun and some brilliant prizes!! Get you tickets now if you haven't already. www.knockengorroch.co.uk