Sunday, 3 February 2008

Raising the water level

On Friday i went to the reserve and I sealed the valve which allows us to lower the water level. The water level should remain pretty high now until the end of summer, when we'll lower it again.
We had planned to do a number of things at the edge of the loch this winter, when the water level was lower. Not least of which was to scrape away some of the encroaching rushes to create an area of bare mud for the Mudwort to establish itself on. Unfortunately, due to the high volume of rain we've had this winter, the water level has never stayed low enough for long enough for us to do any of this work. It is slightly disappointing, but sometimes these things happen. We'll probably try again later in the year, once we lower the water level again.

I'm going to have to make a point of ignoring the weather forecasts for ever, now! I'm slightly annoyed that I've cancelled the latest planned visit by the local air cadets for today due to forecast adverse conditions. Looking out of the window just now it's a little overcast, but it's still dry. It hasn't really rained for 3 days, despite numerous weather warnings for the met office for blizzard conditions! I feel bad about not having them come on site. Apparently they've become quite enthusiastic about the reserve and the work they've been doing and I'd really rather utilize that enthusiasm than let it dwindle.
On the plus side, thanks to Janie, we should have a back up plan for the next time they're due to visit. She's managed to find a source of wood, so if the weather prevents us from going on site, we can use the cadet hall to have the cadets building nest boxes for the birds on the reserve.

When i was on the reserve on Thursday, i managed to see something I've never actually seen on the reserve before. Foxes! We've always known they were there, with prints and scat clearly showing that they've been using the reserve, but this was the first time I've seen the actual animals. I saw one not far from the peanut feeders and another one on the hill near the car park. It sat and stared at me while i sat in the car warming my hands up after spending 2 hours on the reserve in freezing conditions.
As I've mentioned in a previous post. Finding field signs of mammals on the reserve is quite easy, but normally we wouldn't expect to see the mammals themselves. It makes it a real treat when you do, though! I won't be forgetting it for a while, that's for sure!

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