Our new member of staff, Ellen Bird, says hello!
I’m really looking forward to my year’s placement on the Stirling NNRs. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to gain practical experience in conservation and land management. I am mostly a bird-enthusiast but I’m a lover of all Scottish wildlife and over the next year I would like to improve my plant and invertebrate ID skills.
I studied Zoology at university and have volunteered for several conservation charities in Scotland, most recently with The Conservation Volunteers as part of a Hedgehog survey project in Glasgow. I enjoy all kinds of outdoor activities and have been lucky enough to have carried out fieldwork in really amazing places, including the Rocky Mountains in Canada and on St Kilda.
Currently, I am finishing my masters in Biodiversity and Conservation at the University of Glasgow. For my dissertation project I used GPS tags to track Tawny owls in the forest around Aberfoyle, to study their behaviour over the breeding season. Whilst I am finishing up my dissertation I have started working on the NNRs part-time, which has been a very welcome and refreshing break from staring at a laptop all day!
Last week I had my first visit to Flanders Moss and was told by Amee to take some binoculars and a camera and to go have fun! I have never spent much time on a bog before and was amazed by the diversity of wildlife I saw over such a short time.
It was a warm sunny day and I saw loads of common lizards basking on the boardwalk and black darter and common hawker dragonflies. I saw a redstart in the birch trees at the edge of the moss, heard stonechats and spoke to visitors who had spotted a newt in the pools. I’m excited to see what Flanders and the other Stirling reserves have to offer the rest of the year and looking forward to exploring other less-visited parts of the bog.