Do you enjoy our blogs, reading our observations, exploits and musings from the bog? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work and live in such a wild, remote and dramatic area of Scotland?
If you have answered yes to these questions, then read on...
We have one remaining vacancy for a residential volunteer for this winter at Forsinard and you could be the person to fill it! Over the past couple of months, you have been able to read blogs written by some of our current and past volunteers, Will, Paul and Sergio. A winter volunteer placement at Forsinard gives you the opportunity to learn, experience and contribute a lot to the reserve. You have the opportunity to learn more about the habitats, ecology, hydrology and management of the reserve. This takes the form of surveying and monitoring species and habitats, as well essential reserve work such as drain blocking and tree regeneration control.
This post starts in mid August, enabling you to witness the bog with its plants at their most lush and the invertebrates at their most ferocious, and watch as the colours and species change with the seasons.
So...if you have a passion for all things peaty, don’t mind getting damp now and again, and are keen to know more about this opportunity please contact either ourselves at the reserve (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Residential Volunteering department.
You never know, it could be you writing a blog from the bog in six months...
Just a quick blog to say "thank you" to everyone that came and said hello to us on the RSPB stand at the Caithness Show. The weather managed to stay good and we hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!
RSPB staff from Caithness Reserves, Forsinard and our North Scotland Office
This week the blog comes from Will Rundle (one of our residential volunteers), so over to Will...
I find the best way to learn, for me at least, is total immersion and at Forsinard that is definitely what you get. The wildlife and wilderness is all around you and both the working week and the weekend often involves experiencing it, and learning something new about it. So what is it like at Forsinard?
Well, it’s often said that to be British one must complain about the weather, well I’m not sure where that leaves me when I say, by and large, it’s been pretty good! Having been here since February I have only rarely had to wear more than three fleeces and up until now the bog has been noticeably sun dried and crispy underfoot, with many of the Lochans showing obvious signs of lower than average water levels. Indeed the deciduous trees, grasses and flowering plants have decided in the last month that it’s now worth the effort to put out leaves.
The flowers themselves are appearing too, with a species a week popping up out of the bog. Recent additions include members of the Rose family such as Silverweed and Tormentil as well as various Orchids like Common Spotted, Heath Spotted and Northern Marsh.
Orchids, Orchids everywhere!
The change in season brings with it new surveying and a mixing up of volunteers as well. Since March, the focus has been on Moorland Bird Surveys (as described in previous blogs) but now we will be switching over to deer counts, farm bird counts, Dragon/Damsel Fly surveys and the continuing challenge of recording hydrology from delicate plastic tubing carefully placed in the peat which is being continually buried by wood chippings from the mulching of some of the non-native conifers.
The last week or so has heralded a few specific changes as well. Our favourite housemate, friend and great source of entertainment......the Pine Martin living in the loft has moved out. Also our second favourite housemate, friend and great source of entertainment (Sergio), one of the long term volunteers like myself, has finished his sentence...um....I mean moved out as well. Hopefully richer for the experience, he is now heading off to do his Mountain Leader Training in Wales and I’m sure on to great things thereafter.
Dragon Flys and Damsel Flys are now a common site on the reserve.
Thunder and Lightning approaching in the distance means legging it back to the vehicle!