The reserve team have been preparing for spring by finishing off the last of the reserve work and getting organised for the breeding season. We monitor the breeding lapwing very closely recording their productivity, as well as monitoring the predation levels. This has involved completing the modifications to the electric fence that surrounds the flood and the compartments towards Spitend and having everything in place for our volunteer team to commence monitoring as soon as we see the first Lapwing sitting on a nest. Monitoring usually starts in the last week of March but with the mild weather we have been experiencing the birds may try to catch us out, we are ready for them.
The last of the sheep left the reserve today (Friday) to go off to their home farm to lamb in the next week or so. It was sad to see them all go as it means for the time being we do not have any livestock on site. The grass on the reserve will get a well-deserved break before last years ewe lambs are put back out the graze. It will not be long before the cattle are back either, depending on the rate of grass growth we should see animals back within a month. The cattle and sheep are very important to maintain a good sward to allow us to attract the variety of birds to the reserve.
You will notice the flood in front of the hides has quite a high level of water on it although we would want it a little higher so that the slightly higher rills get some water. Unfortunately, we are running out of stored water and unless we get a significant rainfall we will not be pumping for very much longer. On the upside, so far March has surpassed the February total rainfall figure; let us hope the trend continues.
"Carol and Jim Allison would like to express our grateful thanks to all Gordon's friends and colleagues who have been such a great support to us during the last few weeks. We have been greatly encouraged by all the wonderful cards, letters, emails and comments on blogs, posts etc.
We have also been moved by the depth of feeling for Gordon which has been expresses by so many of his long standing friends. But we also had a smile at some of the comments about Gordon's unique style.
Gordon's dad and brothers, Stuart and David also appreciated greatly the chance to meet so many of his friends and colleagues at the Ferry Inn. The atmosphere was genuinely a celebration and just as if Gordon was there as guest of honour.
It was also good that the whole family had a chance to meet those who made the long journey up to Glasgow for the funeral.
Once again, thank you for all your support - it has been truly appreciated."