Spring has well and truly sprung!

It’s great to see leaves on trees, flowers popping up everywhere and returning migrants swelling the chorus of birdsong around us.  Here on the Ross we hosted a birdsong walk around Bunessan village in mid-April, listening to house sparrows, wren, songthrush, blackbird, robin, blue tit, goldfinch, chaffinch, goldcrest among others.  Why not come along to the next one on Wednesday 3rd May and add some new songs to your repertoire?  Meeting at 9.30am in Bunessan main carpark.

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Primroses dot the slopes at Burg ladder


Plenty of other activity as visiting Thistle Camp workparties turned their hand to drystone walling and path repair, improving a fank at Burg and a boundary wall on Iona, while local volunteers have been working hard on a myriad of bird survey tasks.

Afterschool nature clubs are now ongoing at Iona primary school and so far we’ve investigated natural textures and birdsong – during which a cheeky sparrow dropped in to find out what all the fuss was about – and after watching our local rookery the children also wanted to have a go at building nests themselves, carefully choosing the right materials for the job.  Butterflies and bushcraft are next on the agenda!

I’ve been spending more time with Bunessan school as well, with the younger class learning about how owls’ soft feathers help them to glide silently, and turning detective while dissecting owl pellets to find out what they’d been eating.  The next day it was the turn of the older class to visit Tiroran Community Forest for some natural art and poetry writing.

At the start of April we welcomed back Rachel French to be our seasonal ranger based at West Ardhu eagle hide – more from her over on the Mull Eagle Watch blog and look out for her contributing events to our programme as well.

All that in April, phew!  Check back soon for news from the north…meanwhile I’ll leave you with a rather calmer image, from yesterday’s session with Iona Community guests at the Abbey, who were thinking about our motivations for conservation, finding out about the work of the ranger service locally and investigating the small details of nature for themselves.

Enjoy spring!  Emily

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