Things have been very busy on the Forsinard reserve over the last couple of weeks. Both staff and volunteers are now involved in survey and monitoring work on the reserve and we have been out and about undertaking a variety of different surveys.
Yesterday we were out spending a couple of hours looking at...well...poo! Each year, as part of our monitoring work, we carry out predator scat (poo) transects on the reserve, recording the location and content as well as the species that deposited it. This helps us to keep an eye on what mammalian predators we have on the reserve such as red fox, pine marten, stoat, weasel and otter. As we remove areas of conifer plantation and return them back to peat bog. The population of some predator species, which prey on ground nesting birds, should decline as they relocate in search of more suitable habitat. The predator transects help to give an idea of predator populations.
Predator Transect Training
We have also been carrying out the first part of our annual Moorland Bird Survey (MBS) on parts of the reserve. Some species seen include meadow pipit, skylark, greenshank, golden plover, hooded crow, greylag goose, buzzard, a black-throated diver and an aggressive encounter between a raven and a golden eagle!
Some of the views of "the office" during a Moorland Bird Survey (MBS)
Last Friday on my way back to the cottage, after finishing work, I came across a rather adventurous sheep that had managed to get itself stuck in boggy ground up on the farm. It took a bit of effort, sloshing around in icy-cold water and a bit of manhandling, but eventually the rather cold sheep was free to join the rest of the flock further up the hill on more firm ground. It just goes to show that the life of an RSPB Warden is never 9 to 5 and you have to be ready to deal with a wide variety of animals both wild and domestic!
That sinking feeling!
Wet wool is very heavy! One wet and cold sheep, but she dried off and recovered ok