Tuesday, 24 June 2008

The Damselflies of Cullaloe

First of all, I'm going to have to apologise. I know that I've promised an update on the open day, but both me and Janie have been incredibly busy over the past couple of weeks and neither of us has had a chance to do it. Hopefully Janie will be able to provide a full update on the open day in the next few days. Rest assured that a good day was had by all!
I'd also like to apologise for the lack of updates on the species list (It should be huge by now, since there's so much going on!), but again, I've not really had the time to do it.

In the meantime, I figured I would show everyone pictures of the three damselfly species we currently have on the reserve.

The first one I'd like to show you, and the one that you're most likely to see on the reserve is the Common Blue Damselfly. When you see males flying around (like the one in the picture) it's like a big flash of blue that's passing you by!

The second damselfly we have on offer (I sound like I'm trying to sell something here!) is the Blue-Tailed Damselfly. This one isn't quite as striking as the Common Blue, but is a beautiful damselfly, all the same. You're more likely to see this species either at the Filter Beds or near the Spillway.

And finally, we have the Large Red Damselfly. This one is rather special for me, since as far as I'm aware, it has not been recorded on the reserve before. The only place i have seen these is at the Filter Beds, just off from the car park.

It's definitely a great site to see these wonderful creatures hovering over the water or the surrounding plants, looking for prey (They feed on other insects... midges are a favourite of theirs, so they're double good to see!) and I don't think it will be long now till we get the full blown Dragonflies out on the reserve. I know that when they were pond dipping during the open day a few dragonfly nymphs were captured, so it's a relatively safe bet that we'll get a decent hatching soon.

Speaking of hatchings. If anyone is planning on visiting the reserve in the next week or two, please watch where you put your feet!
This year's batch of frogs and toads are on the loose, and there are hundreds of them jumping around along the path, particularly near the loch. Please keep an eye out for them while you're walking about.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Open Day Update!

Janie mentioned in her previous post that we would update you with details of what is going to be happening during the reserve open day. We've both actually been really busy over the past few days planning and organising things, but it's all starting to come together now. The open day will definitely be going ahead this Saturday, 7th June from 11:00 to 15:00. So, what's going to be happening, I hear you ask - the wait is over. The (almost complete) list of activities are listed below!

Guided Walks:- We will be hosting guided walks for anyone interested at 11:30am and 1:30pm. These will be led jointly by myself and Alistair Whyte, the Reserves Manager for East Central Scotland (AKA: The boss). Each walk should last approximately an hour and a half and we'll be covering the wildlife you can see on the reserve and covering some of the reserve management techniques we use.

Pond Dipping:- Stewart Bonar of Fife Ranger Service will be providing entertainment for young and old alike in the form of pond dipping at the filter beds, just next to the car park. There is a whole lot of pond life out at this time of year. Who knows, there may be some aquatic monster lurking in the depths!

Bark Rubbing:-
Janie will be providing further entertainment for the children in the form of bark rubbing. I think you'd be surprised how entertaining it can be to rub a crayon onto a piece of paper up against a tree! It can be a whole lot of fun, and it gives kids their own self-made souvenir of their day.

Treasure Trail:- Follow the list of clues, answer the questions and receive a reward. Yet another great one for the kids!

Stalls:- The local Member's Centre will be providing a stall, highlighting the work of the SWT locally and providing an opportunity for visitors to purchase various SWT branded and nature related items.
859 Squadron of the Air Training Corps will have a stall to advertise themselves and the work they do to enrich teenagers lives and the work they have done on the reserve.

That's the main events and activities that will be happening on the day. There may be some slight changes, modifications or additions, but the main activities are unlikely to change at this late stage.

I would ask that if you plan on visiting the reserve and you know others who would like to come along, share a car where possible! For those who know the reserve, they'll understand that parking can be a bit limited, so hopefully if everyone does their bit for the environment by reducing car numbers, it will also help us out with a potential parking nightmare.

If you do come along, we hope you have an enjoyable, memorable visit. You can be sure we'll update with behind the scenes action as soon as the open day is over!