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Observations from the Big Hideout

Observations from the Big Hideout

Excitedly I grab some old binoculars after hearing that we have a certain visitor to our Whooper pond.Although they delight our team and visitors from time to time, I am yet to see one.It is with glee that upon hurriedly reaching the observatory, I am gre

16 February 2024

Put a ring on it

Put a ring on it

It is uncommon for us to be finding new swan rings at this time of year. Normally by this time, we stop seeing birds with rings that haven’t visited the reserve yet this season. But at the end of January, ZJA was spotted. The ring was old and weathered-

14 February 2024

Caerlaverock Bird Race 2024 Final Update

Caerlaverock Bird Race 2024 Final Update

With the end of January comes the end of the Bird Race.The wardens, placement students and our very own site manager were put against each other in a battle of birding to see who knows their fieldfare from their redwing and who mistakes a blue tit for a g

1 February 2024

Going for Gold (Bird Race update 7)

Going for Gold (Bird Race update 7)

The longer we do the bird race, the trickier it gets. We were seeing three or four new species everyday in the first week or so but now a good day is a single new species. It becomes important that all the regulars are checked off the list and there is on

29 January 2024

Greenshank, twite and snipe (Bird Race update 6)

Greenshank, twite and snipe (Bird Race update 6)

Another week of the Bird Race and we're approaching the final stretch now. Highlights for the teams this week are greenshank on the Lochar, twite on the saltmarsh, large numbers of knot during the WeBS count and three woodcock in the carpark. Other sighti

21 January 2024

Gadwall, brent geese and siskin (Bird Race update 5)

Gadwall, brent geese and siskin (Bird Race update 5)

Meg: It’s over two weeks into the bird race and Ed started us off strong. I have added several species to our slowly growing list: we are on 62 species, trailing behind Team Warden and Team Dave. But I think it is an impressive feat considering our expe

17 January 2024

Working the office window (Bird Race Update 4)

Working the office window (Bird Race Update 4)

This Bird Race is tough for me: I’m not like the other teams, gallivanting round the reserve all day, in amongst the birds all the time. They only have to stumble over them to add them to their lists. I am busy taking one for the team, working the desk

14 January 2024

End of week 1 (Bird Race update 3)

End of week 1 (Bird Race update 3)

It is Sunday and therefore the end to the first week of an exciting bird race.So far Team Warden is on 66 species. Their highlights include: spoonbill, hen harrier, merlin, goldcrest, sparrowhawk, tree sparrow, snipe and bullfinch.Two goldcrests in a hedg

7 January 2024

Dave gets stuck in (Bird Race update 2)

Dave gets stuck in (Bird Race update 2)

I’m already regretting being away for New Year's Day. Those pesky kids in the Bird Race have got a flying start and are well ahead. So to catch up I am going to have to use guile, intelligence, experience... and if that doesn’t work just plenty of har

3 January 2024

And so it begins... (Bird Race update 1)

And so it begins... (Bird Race update 1)

EdIt’s the first day of the Bird Race so I arrive at the reserve early for extra time – I know that Jake has dedicated too much of his life to birding so was going to be tough competition. When I opened up the reserve office I knew that I was the firs

1 January 2024

A day in the life of a guide in the hide

A day in the life of a guide in the hide

I have been volunteering at Caerlaverock since 2017 where I am Friday’s Guide in the Hide. My role is to help guests connect with the wildlife around the reserve and hopefully make their visit more enjoyable. This is the first of an occasional series of

19 October 2023

Recent Sightings - 20th August

Recent Sightings - 20th August

Where to start with this last week's sightings? A good place would probably be the red necked phalarope that graced us with its presence on Saturday afternoon (possibly brought in with the strong wind) and was still hanging around on the whooper pond on S

20 August 2023

Recent Sightings - 13th August

Recent Sightings - 13th August

It's been a "birdy" week with a few sightings of green sandpiper at multiple spots on the reserve.There's also been wheatear, greenshank and peregrine falcon spotted around the Lochar. You can tell there are juveniles and passage birds moving around now.

13 August 2023

Recent Sightings - 6th August

Recent Sightings - 6th August

The highlight of this last week has to be a green sandpiper on the Folly pond and three green sandpipers seen on the Lochar. This signifies that migration, once again, has begun.Other signs of the changing seasons include a wheatear spotted at Powhillon a

6 August 2023

Recent Sightings -30th July

Recent Sightings -30th July

This last week provided some good encounters with birds of prey. On the 21st, the reserve team headed to Powhillon to see and ring some kestrel chicks (under the permit of a licensed ringer). The chicks are quite active and have been monitored for a few w

30 July 2023