Wednesday 11 May 2011

Wednesday 11th May

The black grouse surveying season is almost at the end and they are doing very well on the estate. There are many leks around with up to about 15 males displaying and strutting their stuff for the ladies. Numbers of black grouse in Britain have seriously declined so much that they are now a red list species. The decline is mainly down to habitat loss and overgrazing. It is therefore very important that there are dedicated volunteers who will go out and survey them so we can keep track of their numbers and see if we can help them recover to a healthy and sustainable population. I would recommend becoming a surveyor next year. Yes you have to get up very early and be on site for sunrise but you can spot so much interesting wildlife whilst you are out there. Today for example I managed to spot a cuckoo which was a first for me as I have always found them very elusive, I could hear them but never see them. There were also loads of sand martens flying in and out of their nests nearby which was nice to watch and hundreds of red deer grazing in the hills. You can even hear foxes barking if you get there early enough. It is a great time in the morning to see wildlife and very satisfying to know you are doing your bit to help the black grouse.

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