Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Kailzie Wildlife Festival and more from Tweed Valley

Visitors to the wildlife festival were left in no doubt that the Tweed Valley is indeed teeming with wildlife. Below is a summary of just some of the wildlife seen in absolute close-up, over the whole weekend event.

· Live mammal trapping caught two voles and two wood mice and these were safely returned back to their homes after greeting the public!

· Marathon Pond dipping with Anna Craigen from Borders Forest Trust caught lots of pond life mentioned above.

· Burn dipping caught – mayfly nymphs, cased caddis fly larvae, leeches, fresh water limpet, trout fry and lots of fresh water shrimps.

· Moth trapping with Reuben Singleton and moth group friends caught, angle shades, brimstone, prominents and many more but the star moth caught one of our volunteers Nigel Palmer! It hitched a lift on his sleeve for most of the afternoon! It was a magnificent hawk moth.

· Bird ringing with Stuart Craig was absolutely brilliant with visitors able to see birds in the hand such as great spotted woodpecker, blue tits, siskin, nuthatches, great tits, chaffinches, coal tits and swallow.

The pond dipping activities during the Kailzie Wildlife Festival proved to be one of the most enjoyable sessions and kids were enthralled by the myriad creatures lurking in the deep. Sticklebacks, diving beetles, leeches, water boatmen , tadpoles and water shrimp were just some of the fascinating pond life that was found. The pond camera back at the osprey and nature centre continues to reveal the life in the underwater world and we have witnessed the occasional diving beetle whizzing by but by far the star attractions are the palmate newts stalking prey on the pond bed.
We will be running the event again next year so we hope to meet even more visitors for an even bigger event.


The heron chicks spend very little time at the nest now. The less than subtle hint from their parents to make the chicks hunt for themselves seems to have finally pressed home.

Our swallow has settled down to incubate her eggs on the nest, this can be viewed at the Kailzie Osprey and Nature Watch Centre which has a camera pointed into the nest and the images are relayed to a large screen in the centre. The adult bird is such a beautiful sight with dark blue wings, back and tail with a red face and cream under belly. These beautiful migrant birds are easily recognisable by their forked tails and long tail streamers.

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