Home for winter

Flanders Moss NNR

If you saw a giant wader on migration at Flanders last week, don’t be alarmed.

I dunno about you, but I can definitely feel the seasons changing. As I’m putting an extra jumper on, the migratory birds are heading to warmer climes, tits and finches are flocking together and the waders are heading to their coastal wintering sites.

There is one wader in particular who I’m sure you’ll be familiar with. On a summer visit to Flanders, you may well have heard the high-pitched, bubbling call of the curlews who breed on the moss. In the foreground sits Caroline the Curlew – the woven willow sculpture made by local artist, Kate Sankey along with the kids of Wallace High School.

Curlews breed inland during the summer months (hence their presence here on Flanders) and then head to the coast for winter where they’ll feast on shellfish and other small sea creatures. Caroline, however, will have a slightly cosier few months in the warehouse as we’ve taken her home for winter.

This will prevent her from getting beaten about by our Scottish wintry winds and allow us to carry out any touching-up needed (she may have had a bit of a wobbly eye).

When taking her off the bog, it was nice to see how boggy this patch of the moss has become after the recent rain has re-wetted the place a bit after the dry summer. It make releasing her feet a bit tricky, though, as you’re basically working underwater.

Stepping into Caroline’s shoes (sort of)

I have to say, it’s a bit comical watching her getting taken away. Certainly entertaining for the visitors who were there. Although some slight disappointment apparently, as one chap joked “I only come here to see the curlew!”

Some TLC and she’ll be back on the moss for next Spring!

About Ellie Lawson, NNR Placement

Practical Placement on Stirling's NNRs. Enthusiastic about birds, butterflies, bogs, brochs... and the rest!
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2 Responses to Home for winter

  1. westmossside says:

    So good to see Caroline heading for her winter quarters. Doesn’t she look weel. Catharine her little sister has almost finished her tasks for the season! She keeps an eye on all my visitors staying at Trossachs Yurts – making sure they use the foot operated hand sanitiser at the start of the walkway to the yurts. I’ll be over in the spring with some fresh willow for a spruce up. Kate

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Anne says:

    An excellent idea to allow Caroline to overwinter in a sheltered warehouse.


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