It has been a bit of a busy couple of weeks and only just getting time to draw a breath. We had a work placement student Tom Hilder, with us for three weeks and he was a pleasure to have as part of the team. Luckily he saw the best of the weather and the wildlife, with trips to our public viewing sea eagle hides with rangers Stephanie Cope and Debby Thorne, joined the eagle tag and ringing party with David Sexton (RSPB), out with Sea Life Surveys on a couple of boat trips and joined the Ranger Service on a couple of our guided events, including the evening trip to Staffa. He also had time out with wildlife ranger James Greig, learning about deer management, and we put him to work tidying up and inspecting recreation sites, also strimming and beach cleaning. Tom is welcome back anytime!!
On Saturday we had our annual fishing competition on Loch Frisa. Fishing is from the bank and the competitors have 5 hours to catch as many trout as they can over 8 inches using one fishing rod. Plenty trout were caught but none particularly large.
Guy Bolton won the adult section and a visiting youngster, Fraser from Appin, won the junior section. It was lovely to have some ‘new kids on the block’, some who were total novices, but all the juniors came away with a medal, a prize and a couple of fish.
I headed off with my camera for a wee while. The MacDowell’s fields at Lettermore were full of wild flowers and it could not have been a nicer day, slight breeze, sun, lovely landscape and NO midges.
The generosity of the local business that sponsor the event really make the day and I appreciate their generosity.
Sunday was a different kettle of fish (pun not intended) all together. It was planned to have a tidy of Calgary Bay in time for the summer holiday rush, luckily the beach had little litter on it so in rather ‘damp’ climatic conditions, Matthew and Julia Reade and I spent time sorting picnic tables, tidying and strimming the camping area and plunging the wash hand basin in the gents, too much information I am sure).
To conclude my run of three events we held a guided walk at Ardmore yesterday afternoon. We were joined by retired wildlife ranger Steve Irvine and the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. The weather had threated us again but miraculously the sun came out and there was a small breeze. We had a lovely companionable walk with views of an otter relatively close by the shore, a golden eagle flew overhead and then surprisingly a mole crossed our path which we would not have seen had it not been for Tikka, my vizsla, giving it a helping hand.
Now the summer holidays have just started watch out for a wide variety of events for lots of different ages and interest, over the next couple of months.
by Jan Dunlop: