Tay Estuary Diary April 2017

The month got off to a good start with a dry warm spell and a river that was settling back down again. We saw our first swallows and sand martins at the very start of this month and the osprey has been sighted on a few occasions now. On the 14th we had our first common sandpiper back with us and we saw our first ducklings out on the river on the 24th.

We had some duck eggs put into the incubator again this year after the crows were putting the parent birds off their nests again to get at the eggs. We have got twenty plus ducklings doing okay that hatched out mid-month; we will keep them inside for a bit yet, then move them out into a bigger pen later on before they finally get released back onto the river when they are big enough to fend for themselves.

On the 5th of this month we had another visit from the SSPCA who brought some more swans with them from their rescue centre.

These were released back into the wild again and were soon mixing with some other swans that were in the area. They also brought along three young Barn owls too which were also safely released.

The bird boxes are very busy just now with all the smaller birds taking advantage of them, and the bees have been busy outside the hive on some of the warmer days. There have been a few butterflies about and we saw our first orange tip on the 14th.

The kingfisher, otter and beaver are all busy in this area, but we are still keeping a lookout for our first house martin of the year! In what has been a mostly dry month we have been kept busy with a variety of jobs; this has included moving the tractor across the river by barge to some areas for grass cutting.

Also strimming and bank maintenance along the river side.

Up at the activity centre there has been a bit of time spent raking and grass seeding in some areas now that a lot of the main work is almost completed. As the month has moved on we have seen the blossom come out on the fruit trees; and the marsh marigold, yellow archangel and the cowslip are showing up well now.

There was a cooler spell near the end of the month before it warmed up again, and the river was almost down to summer level as it drew to a close.



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