Subtract one Adder from Flanders

Heading out to work on Flanders, our Reserve Manager, Amee, made a sad discovery – a dead adder on the access road.  Unfortunately some hapless driver had run the poor thing over, and having established that yes, it really was dead, our staff picked it up and stashed it in the van for closer inspection later on. [We have some pictures of the unfortunate adder – but all at the bottom of this blog post – so if you are likely to find images of a dead snake upsetting or triggering, you might prefer not to look!]

Sad as this event is, it does afford us the opportunity to have a really close look at the adder in question and really appreciate what wonderful and beautifully marked creatures they are.  It’s safe to say that snakes in general get a bad rap and as Britain’s only venomous snake, adders suffer especially. Before we look at the snake Amee found, let’s consider look at some adder info, which might help dispel some of the myths.

Perhaps because of fear, myth and misinformation, adders are very misunderstood. Snakes in general can cause quite a reaction and sometimes a very negative one – but as one of the special species that lives on Flanders, which we treasure, our NNR team works hard to keep the habitat suitable for them, including building hibernacula (places for them to hibernate in), for the winter months to try and ensure as many survive as possible. These elusive animals are a conservation priority species in the UK as they have suffered huge population declines, so our adders on Flanders are very precious.

Hibernaculum on Flanders

Adders – a bit about them and where you might see one. Flanders Moss is a good place to see adders, sometimes sunbathing on the boardwalk on warm days.  Adders come out of hibernation in February or March, the males usually emerging first, usually about a month before the females emerge.  The early spring is often a good time to spot them as they will be basking in the sun, trying to soak in the rays of sunshine to warm themselves up.  The males won’t be feeding and so will be losing weight as their fat reserves go into developing their testes, ready for when the females finally wake up and breeding season begins.  All being well, adders live for 5 – 10 years (unless they get run over!) and in nature, their main predators are birds such as buzzards and crows, and even foxes or badgers.   

Female adder – brownish with chocolatey markings – isn’t she lovely?

Male or female?  The males can be identified by a greyish colour and their blacker zig-zag pattern on their backs and therefore a greater contrast between the zig-zag and the background colour. Females are a more chocolatey brown, with a dark brown pattern. Female adders incubate their eggs internally and so give birth to tiny snakes.  They are also very faithful to where they live and will return to the same spot every year to hibernate the winter months away. The marks on each adder’s head are unique – it would be entirely possible to create a database of images to refer to, so you could build up data on each individual whenever it was sighted. Not something we have for Flanders Moss NNR – yet!

Like other reptiles, adders will shed their or slough their skin every few weeks or months depending on the age of the individual. If you see an adder with greyish or cloudy looking scales, it might be about to shed. After each skin moult, the colours of the snake are particularly vibrant. Adders shed from the head back, including the scale over the eye. Sometimes the officers find these cast skins as they go about their duties, such as shown in the image below.

Adder skin, this particular one found by our colleagues on Muir of Dinnet NNR.

Are adders dangerous? Adders are venomous – Britain’s only venomous snake – and use their venom to immobilise or kill their prey which is generally small rodents and fellow reptiles, such as lizards, which of course are also to be found at Flanders.  But are they dangerous to humans?  Very rarely!  Occasionally adders have been known to bite people, or sometimes dogs, but it’s very rare that this happens, and usually only when the adder has been trodden upon or alarmed.   Adder bites are almost never fatal – in fact nobody has died from an adder bite in the UK since 1975 – and only 10 reported deaths in the last century. 

So, really and truly, these amazing creatures mind their own business and leave humans alone – so if you see one, just back away, give it space;  afford it the same courtesy it gives you, and don’t get into a stooshie because there is absolutely no reason to.   If the adder has to slither off to get away from you, it will use up valuable energy doing so, so it’s best to give them plenty space and don’t disturb them. Adders are protected by law in Great Britain – it’s illegal to intentionally kill or injure them.

If you do see an adder on Flanders, tag us on @flandersmossnnr and report your sighting on and for some more info about this fabulous species, see our website .

And so, time to turn our attention to the dead adder found by Amee last Wednesday – [warning – images of dead adder, just in case anyone’s squeamish or finds snakes triggering].

  • firstly, it’s not exactly a ‘cold case’ because the poor thing has a tyre mark across it – so the cause of death’s pretty clear
  • it’s female – this particular snake was identified by Amee as likely a female, given its brownish colouring and probably quite young
  • this particular adder was 44 cms long, though adders can grow to around 60 cms in length

And now for some photos, given our opportunity to get a really close view: [warning – images of dead adder, just in case anyone’s squeamish or finds snakes triggering]

A close up of the amazing scales and a chance to marvel at an adder’s zig zag markings – and the pattern found on the head, which is unique to each individual.

A fabulous chance to view the scales of the adder’s underside – not a view you would normally get!
And here’s the adder now – Amee managed to find some vodka which she mixed with water and hopes the mixture
will preserve the poor beastie.

Remember, our adders are precious and a valuable part of our wildlife. So, please, when you’re driving up to Flanders, go slowly and carefully; don’t run anything over – and if you see an adder anywhere, give it plenty space, don’t disturb it – and treasure the special day you got to see one!

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NatureScot’s People and Places Activity Team visit

Last month we hosted our colleagues from People and Places Activity team to visit our reserve, in return for their guided walk we asked for them to share their experience …. happy reading 🙂

It was going to be a real treat.  Getting away from the computer screen, getting outside and getting to meet – in person – new colleagues and old at the NatureScot’s People and Places Activity away team event visiting the Beechbrae Woodland Centre and its neighbouring Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve.  A couple of days before the event the team was told that someone had tried to set fire to the Beechbrae building, but not to worry as the trip was still on!  Was this a typical challenge that Ally Graham, Beechbrae Project Manager and Amee Hood, National Nature Reserve Manager, had to face or a one off?  We’d soon find out.

Beechbrae Woodland Centre and Blawhorn Moss NNR sit at the heart of Scotland’s central belt, just north and in walking distance of the small town of Blackridge in West Lothian. Our early March arrival at Beechbrae was welcomed by a cold breeze cutting across the exposed, lowland plateau.  A landscape of improved pasture with a field pattern formed by dilapidated stone walls, outgrown thorn hedgerows and windswept shelterbelts.  And, of course, with fragmented mosses, bogs and wetlands supporting heather, bog cotton, rough grasses and marsh vegetation that a range of special wildlife make home.  The oil-shale and mining boom of the 19th Century drastically reshaped the wider countryside.  And today the regeneration of this post-industrial landscape, with commercial and housing developments on extensive areas of former mining and industrial land, continues to modify the West Lothian Plateau.

Beechbrae Woodland Centre is a social enterprise development that aims to have a positive and sustainable impact on people and place.  It has an orchard, garden, mixed 35 acre woodland with paths, a labyrinth and a wild pond.  All helping to reconnect people with nature.  We were glad to see that the attempted fire raising had only damaged and scorched two windows on the outside, and so had left the multifunctional and beautiful building intact and all ready to accommodate our visit.  It wasn’t long before we were all inside, cosy, shoes off, with our feet warming up through the underfloor heating.  It was a perfect indoor – outdoor space, with a large hall, three smaller rooms, a kitchen and toilets.  We were all ready to start.

Ally and Amee began telling us about their work at Beechbrae and Blawhorn Moss NNR.  We heard how, as well as making space for nature, the place was improving the quality of life for the local community through supporting the physical, mental and emotional health of the people who visited.  As well as providing a place for quiet wildlife friendly walks, the Centre offers a number of indoor and outdoor programmes in environmental education, community development, community growing and wellbeing, for example in their Branching Out programme.  It was great to hear that the children from the local Blackridge Primary School often walk from their school, up through the 35 acre wood, to Beechbrae and carry out their learning in the outdoors.  Of course, not all is rosy.  There is some anti-social behaviour with fly-tipping, vandalism, dog fouling and yes, fires.  But overall the place was well looked after, and with help from the local community.  We were told that the area is walked daily by a number of local people trying to keep an eye on the place the best they can.  It is this sense of ownership by the community that bodes well for the future of Beechbrae and Blawhorn Moss NNR.

The wind had died down and it wasn’t raining!  Perfect timing to put our shoes and boots back on for a walk out to Blawhorn Moss itself.  On the way Amee highlighted some issues around maintaining the local path network.  This included an understanding that the responsibility for maintaining path infrastructure, like the little bridges over burns and ditches that we crossed, belonged to the land owner.  And if the land owner is unknown, uncontactable or uninterested then there lies another challenge, especially when a key aim is to provide access facilities to ensure a high quality visitor experience for all abilities.  One recent success, however, was the resurfacing of the road to the NNR car park, which surely would make for a much smoother welcome for most visitors.

Despite the earlier bleak description of the moorland landscape, getting out onto Blawhorn Moss revealed the special character of the place.  It felt remote, wild and tranquil, a real contrast to the bustling central belt just a mile or two away.  This expansive raised bog is a rare survivor indeed given the land use pressures all around and the extensive drainage that took place in the 1940s.  It still remains the largest and least disturbed lowland raised mire in the Lothians.  Its value for wildlife and nature was clear with 8,000 years of peat growth underneath our feat.  So it’s not surprising that it now has European and UK protected status.  The well designed boardwalks took us out over the moss, and alongside the interpretation panels and unique sculptures, we were able to experience and have revealed many of the special qualities of the NNR.

Included in this experience was the view of Drumduff Wind Farm with its dozen or more turbines forming a backdrop to the north of the reserve.  This renewable energy scheme sparked a discussion about the value of the peatland in its role in mitigating climate change, in soaking up and storing carbon from the atmosphere.  Peat bogs need to be intact, waterlogged and in good health with sphagnum mosses thriving to maintain this role in accumulating peat and storing carbon.  Otherwise, they can end up emitting carbon and instead contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.  That is why management over the last 25 years has aimed to repair the damage to the site by blocking drainage ditches with dams and so restoring its important quality as a carbon sink.

The value of the bog doesn’t end there.  It has a key role, as a strategic node in a potentially much wider nature network of mosses, bogs and wetlands that are scattered along the plateau watershed running north-south between Glasgow and Edinburgh.  Realising the benefits in restoring wider hydrological linkages beyond the NNR mean further challenges will need to be overcome.  Again, land ownership issues arise, with a need to build relationships wherever possible and build consensus on the land use and management required to deliver more benefits for people and nature, such as reducing downstream flooding, improving water quality and resorting biodiversity.  These are tangible benefits that require joined-up thinking across the public and private sectors to find the investment to secure.  It’s clear, therefore, that Blawhorn Moss NNR has a crucial and central role to play in restoring nature and in helping us to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

This reflection on the many values of Beechbrae and Blawhorn Moss NNR continued when we returned to our desks and the usual work routine.  A few days after the visit Neil Mitchell, Nature Reserves Adviser at NatureScot (who helped organise the team event), shared a story with us about a participant on one of Ally’s work programmes.  The participant was happy for his story to be shared.  Before joining the programme he had been suffering with mental health issues for a number of years and had tried various prescribed medications and anti-depressants.  Initially quiet and withdrawn he has subsequently come off most of his medications and whilst now diagnosed with ADHD he loves visiting Beechbrae and enjoys helping Ally manage the woodlands and hopes soon to find employment in working outdoors.  This is a really inspirational story.  A full endorsement of the work carried out at the Beechbrae Woodland Centre and Blawhorn Moss NNR and in their value as special places for people and nature.  A big thanks, on behalf of NatureScot’s People and Places Activity, for an excellent visit.

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We’re Hiring!

Stirling NNRs

We are looking for dynamic and engaging person to help our NNR teams ensure that our sites can be managed and protected. You will engage with visitors helping them make the most of their visit, answering queries and encouraging responsible behaviour.  

Skills required

  • A good understanding of the natural heritage of Scotland
  • A good understanding of the Scottish Outdoor Access Code (SOAC).
  • Strong and confident interpersonal skills that contribute to collaborative/team working and customer orientated service provision
  • Working with the public
  • Experience of planning and leading outdoor activities
  • A good knowledge of the local area including tourism facilities.
  • Good written communication skills including an ability to write clearly and concisely for social media platforms.
  • Driving licence or other means of transport

Do you have what it takes to join 2 Bogs, a swamp and some Islands?

Apply here :

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Drones, community and a chance to join the team!

Flanders Moss/Loch Lomond NNR

Spring nearly here at Flanders but oh, for these wintery blasts!

There’s been lots of variety in our days over the last few weeks.  The sun has been shining and we have been feeling the shift in seasons with the birds singing and adders and lizards reappearing. Although that said it’s been arctic cold these last few days with some lovely wintery scenes at the reserves.

We’ve had a great time welcoming and working with some new community groups out at Flanders Moss NNR.  Firstly, a big thank you to the Blairdrummond Camphill Community who came along a few weeks ago on one of the sunniest days of the year so far.  They had kindly offered to do some volunteering work and after a tour around they got stuck into some birch cutting.  One of the tasks at Flanders that will always tick along needing plenty of attention.  It was a pleasure to work alongside this tightly knitted group and they did a great job.  We were also supported by Julie and Ian, our colleagues from Loch Leven NNR, and it was great to have their company and to catch up with them. 

Our next new group last Saturday was the 11th Bridge of Allan scout group who are working towards their naturalist badge.  I’ve really been impressed by the scout groups that visit.  They are already incredibly knowledgeable, passionate about nature and have such a ‘can do’ attitude.  They were great fun and got hands on with peat depth testing, bird watching, making nature journals, birch cutting and doing a nature hunt. 

And this week we’ve been working with an expert team down at Loch Lomond NNR to carry out LIDAR mapping of the river Endrick.  This mapping work will help to measure the impact of the recently released beavers and specifically will give a baseline to measure the vegetation and hydrological changes of the site over time.  The work involved working with two drones to cover the area as well as additional bits of equipment to help ensure location accuracy.  It was quite a piece of work for all involved to cover the length of the river and to manage the logistics. As regulars will know, the river Endrick is known for its many meanders and it can take a long time to traverse along it.  We made good use of the electric boat to help drop off kit and to access more difficult areas. We were also keeping a careful look out for birds to ensure they weren’t harmed or disturbed by the drones. It was incredibly long days for all involved but well worth it and will be very useful data for measuring the long term impacts of beavers’ activity.    

Coming into land

On another note, if anyone might fancy working with the team this summer we are on the hunt for a Seasonal Reserve Officer at the Stirling reserves as well as at Loch Leven. It’s definitely a dream job and team (but I would say that!). Details are here.

I will be heading off for a little while on some adventures so will catch you when I get back. Amee and Steve will be no doubt be blogging so stay tuned. See you soon!

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Lovely lichen

Reindeer lichen?

It’s amazing how I often find myself on a walk around the reserves taking it all in but then suddenly honing in on one particular element of bog life.  This Saturday I was rather taken by the lichen at Flanders Moss.  It really seemed to stand out on what was a very dreich and drizzly morning.  But dreich and drizzly is great for bogs and the colours come alive. 

Lichen are so fascinating.  Plantlife describes them as “an association between a fungus and a photosynthetic partner”.  The fungus is the main body of the lichen and the photosynthetic partner is usually a green alga or a type of bacteria. They work in partnership supporting each other to live each with their own particular role – the fungus part to provide water and protection and the photosynthetic part supplying the nutrients.

Lichens are really important for biodiversity and can tell us a lot about a habitat.  They are a great indicator species, telling us about the air quality as most types prefer clean air whilst others are adapted to coping with certain pollutants.  They can also be used in dating methods (look up lichenometry if you want to know more). 

Here are some pictures of a few of the species I captured today both out on the moss and in the surrounding woodland.  I’ve had a go at identifying the species of the lichen on this blog but please feel free to correct me in the comments if you know better!

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A bevy of whoops!

Whooper swan (Cygnus cygnus) ©Lorne Gill

This week’s special moment of the week goes to seeing the whooper swans at Loch Lomond.

Most of us will be familiar with our resident mute swans who are here all year round but there are two other species that visit us in the winter – the whooper and Bewick swans.  We have a small flock of whooper swans at Loch Lomond NNR who will have flown over from Iceland to spend the winter here.  Whoopers in the UK are mainly visitors although there are a few resident pairs in the north. 

We’ve spotted them near the mouth of the Endrick as it flows into Loch Lomond.  These birds are every bit as elegant and handsome as their mute cousins and distinctively different.  Their bill is shaped differently with a m shaped section of vivid yellow framed by black.  Their legs are also black. They sound different from the mute; making more of a honking noise as well as their wings sounding quieter when they take flight although they do love to shout as they go so perhaps are actually a lot noisier.  You’ll certainly not miss them if you hear them.   

Here are some whooper pics captured by Amee and myself whilst out and about at Loch Lomond at various recent points. 

And for those of you that enjoy a collective noun as I do, then you might be interested to hear that swans have many. If they are in the water then you can call them a bevy or herd, if on the ground they will be a bank and if in flight then a wedge or a flight. Hopefully that question that will come up in a pub quiz soon!

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Beavers, bird watching and St Brigid

Imbolc is a Gaelic traditional festival held on the 1st of February marking the beginning of spring and it is also known for being the feast day of St Brigid and many people still observe these celebrations.  Although there are bound to be more cold days still ahead, Imbolc (for me) always feels like a turning point in the year with the days starting to feel a bit lighter for longer with the first signs of spring appearing and the sense of the potential of new beginnings just around the corner. This year is no different and the last few weeks have felt just like that.  

Beaver (c) Neil Mitchell

Definitely fitting the billing of a new beginning this week was the exciting news of the beavers being released at Loch Lomond NNR led by RSPB Scotland .  The Stirling NNR team were delighted to hear about the successful translocation of this family of seven beavers.  We’ll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled for these new residents and will be setting up trail cameras to keep a look out for them as well as checking for signs of their presence whilst we are out and about.

Speaking of trail cameras I was pleased to find some footage from some cameras I had set up in the woodland on the edge of Flanders Moss.  Whilst we often see roe deer we’d never get this close normally.  Trail cameras are an amazing way to spy on wildlife on our reserves without disturbing them. We set them far away from the trails and if we are lucky, we capture moments like these.

Roe deer on Flanders Moss

Beyond the trail camera I’ve been better at keeping my camera to hand and these last few weeks have captured lots of images of bird life at Loch Lomond and Flanders Moss whilst out and about.  Here are just a few.  Perhaps the light isn’t that great in them due to a few very wet and grey days but I feel lucky to have seen such a wide variety of species at our NNRs. 

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Investment – worth every penny!

Blawhorn Moss, NNR

Well, we have truly started 2023 with a bang!

For many years the number one complaint with our visitors regarding Blawhorn Moss was about the condition of the access track which leads to our reserve car park. In some cases, people didn’t visit because of the track’s condition.

Over the many years we have filled in the potholes, however in my eyes it was like watching money evaporate in front of us! The track is on a hill with poor drainage, which meant that when it rained it was like you were driving up a stream. The water flow caused severe erosion, so any pothole filling crumbled and washed away.

Since returning back to the Stirling NNRs I had one main job I wished see complete on my watch….. a new resurfaced access track. This was challenging: NatureScot don’t own the access road so there were some negotiations to be had. I won’t go into detail how we got here, or how I have made it until Thursday this week without throwing in the towel as NNR Manager! But we’ve got there!


This is by far one of the best if not the best visitor improvement for our reserve to date. We know the condition of the track was a barrier for many of our visitors who wished to explore our boardwalk. The speed bumps are laid at a slant (they are squint, you don’t need glasses), this design will divert water to run off onto the side which will help keep the road from deteriorating from further surface water.

So, before opening the gate and removing the signs I wished to enjoy the piece and quiet.

A moment of reflection soaking up some vitamin D to recharge for the next project at Blawhorn Moss!

Phase 2 of the boardwalk extension will commence in March!

We hope that our visitors can now return to our reserve, along with welcoming new visitors to our wonderful, wet and wild National Nature Reserve.

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A chilly hen harrier count

Flanders Moss NNR

Over winter we carry out regular hen harrier bird counts which feed into the RSPB’s National Winter Roost Survey. As many of you will know hen harriers are one of the UK’s most threatened and persecuted birds and although protected, they are on the Red list of UK birds of conservation concern. Carrying out regular counts and feeding into national statistics is an important way of tracking the status and all the conservation efforts to protect this beautiful species

Steve and I carried out our January survey last week and it was definitely one of the coldest days of the year although beautifully clear and crisp. We follow RSPB guidelines and start our surveys one and a half hours before sunset and finish half an hour after. We positioned ourselves at the top of the tower at Flanders Moss and armed with hot flasks of hot chocolate, binoculars and scope we settled in to wait. Lucky for us there was really no waiting as within minutes we spotted a bright flash on the horizon and realised it was the distinctive pale grey of a male hen harrier. This fine fellow went on to move beautifully across the bog coming closer to us swooping and gliding showing off his distinctive wings as he went. We must have watched him for around fifteen minutes before he finally dived down and we lost sight of him. We hoped he had found something tasty for his tea before heading back to his roost.

Thanks to a great zoom on the camera I managed to catch a couple of pics but I didn’t manage to get any in great focus. But you can just about spot the distinctive colours, wing tips and tail shape.

We didn’t see any more hen harriers that evening but we enjoyed the lovely evening winter glow over the moss watching the ravens and crows and were delighted to have seen our one male. We hope we keep seeing these wonderful birds in future continuing to visit Flanders Moss in the winter months.

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Going batty at Blawhorn

Blawhorn Moss NNR

A guest blog from the Oatridge Rangers & Countryside Stewards (ORCS), Chris Crawford and Emma Stevens-Veitch

Dawn at Blawhorn Moss

Emma – Last summer, my ORCS colleague, Chris Crawford and I were excited to lead on a project to discover if there were any bats present at Blawhorn Moss NNR. ORCS stands for Oatridge Ranger & Countryside Stewards and is a student run body from the SRUC Oatridge campus. ORCS help students gain valuable practical experience in wildlife and conservation management. I’m a student with SRUC alongside my seasonal role as a Nature Reserve Officer (some of you eagle eyed regular blog readers might recognise my name). Chris and I’ve put together a guest blog post from ORCS to share with you a little about our experiences. So, Chris what did we get up to and why?

ORCS surveyors at dusk

Chris – Thanks Emma. So this year we thought that ORCS and NatureScot could work well together and we met Amee Hood, the Reserve Manager, to chat about what projects we could work collaboratively on. When it came to light that there hadn’t been a bat survey conducted at Blawhorn we decided it was too good an opportunity to miss. Emma and I had experience with bat surveying and so we set up some online training and invited the members of ORCS and SRUC to come and join us. It was good practice for Emma and I to lead our own surveys but also opened the doors for our volunteer surveyors to learn about what it entails and why recording this protected species is so important. Our lecturers at Oatridge campus of SRUC generously provided us with detecting equipment for the summer and even joined us in the field. After getting a fair bit of interest, we set off on the first of our 6 surveys on a summers evening in June.

Some of the ORCS team getting ready to start a dusk survey

Chris – Needless to say that after all the preparation, organising and risk assessing there was a tinge of anxiety thrown in with the excitement of the occasion and the question if Blawhorn Moss had any bats at all! Our marvellous mammals didn’t let us down and on that first evening and within no time at all we were surrounded. It really was a great feeling (and a bit of a relief) to know that there were bats at Blawhorn and they treated us to loads of sightings and echolocation calls throughout the whole survey. Over the summer we ran 6 surveys in total, 3 dusk and 3 dawn and a mixture of transect type and static surveys. This meant late nights and early starts for our dedicated volunteer surveyors and we had to endure the rain and cold on occasion as well as the midges!

Emma – I loved being at Blawhorn for dusk and dawn surveys. It was a chance to see the place in many beautiful lights and we were lucky to get some brilliant sunrises and sunsets despite the occasional (very) wet survey. It definitely made up for the unsociable hours and was a very rewarding experience. It was wonderful to see and hear the wildlife at night. It wasn’t just bats but deer, owls and foxes were all spotted amongst the crepuscular creatures, as well as the birds treating us to their spectacular dawn chorus. The bats put on quite a show for us on some of our surveys and in some cases they were whizzing just centimetres away from our noses! Bat surveys are definitely a feast for the senses.

Emma – We were delighted to record over 150 bats passes over our surveys. These were mainly Common pipistrelle and Soprano pipistrelle species but we also picked up a few Noctule bats. We also identified potential roosting sites and there were clear commuting routes and foraging areas observed over the course of our surveys. So it’s fair to say that we were really pleased with how it went and were very happy to have the support of all the volunteers that came along and without them we couldn’t have covered so much of the reserve. We’ve provided the NatureScot NNR team with a report of our survey findings which we hope will provide insight into the bat activity we observed at Blawhorn Moss.

Chris – All in all it was a great success. The aim was to find out if we had bats at Blawhorn and give volunteers the opportunity to learn about these great creatures and how to record them and we were lucky enough to be able to do all of these. Volunteer surveyor feedback was that everyone really enjoyed the experience and had a lot of fun into the bargain. Working with Amee and NatureScot has encouraged us to explore further projects and I for one will be putting my name down for those. A big thank you also has to go out to SRUC for the equipment loan and Chris Smillie our lecturer, Laura Carter-Davis at Echoes Ecology and Amee Hood for their guidance and advice, without which we it wouldn’t have made it such a success.

We hope to see some of you next year, same bat time, same bat channel!!

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