Monday, 31 August 2009

Home Tweet Home - Update

Our Swallows are doing brilliantly, I am pleased to report. There are four, and I was right, one is camera shy! Mum and Dad are working their socks off flying in with tasty morsels for them all to gobble up.

I should think the food will be plentyful as its been very damp and mild recently so lots of bugs flying about ready to be caught by a sharp flying Swallow!

The chicks seem to have put on some good weight and are sitting proudly in their nest. Their little tufts of head fluff sticking up make all of our visitors smile as they pass by to go in to the cafe for a cup of tea.

From Galloway Forest Park wildlife and landscape

We've been greatly enjoying being a distant part of this families life and fingers crossed all continues to go well. Wonder when they will think about flying lessons? They have still some growing to do yet but I hope we are around in the centre when they do take their first flight.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Kirroughtree visitor centre

Just to let you know that there are some minor diversions in place at Kirroughtree at the moment (starts tomorrow) on the 7stanes trails due to forest operations. The Papy Ha is closed for the duration of this work too.

If you would like more information about which routes are effected before you head down then feel free to give the visitor centre a call. Staff will be more than happy to suggest other walks and also update you on where the diversions are. 01671 402165.

Hope you have a good visit.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Home Tweet Home - Update

The Swallows at Glentrool are doing really well and on tuesday last week staff at the centre noticed 3 baby beaks popping out of the nest!!! Swallows lay between 3 and 7 eggs so there could be more young there that are a bit camera shy just now so watch this space!

Mum and dad are working very hard to keep them fed and clean and doing a fantastic job.


Butterfly clouds!

Yesterday was amazing, I headed up to Glentrool visitor centre (they do great tea and scones!) and because it was such a beautiful day I took my camera. I'm glad I did!

After calling in to see the nesting Swallows (more about them in the update) I headed up towards Bruces' Stone where I got distracted by butterflies. I parked at the car park near the old Caldons campsite and took a walk back along the road, everywhere I looked there were butterflies. Mostly Peacocks, Red Admirals and Painted Ladys. They were visiting all the wild flowers and then taking a rest on the bracken. When cars came down the road to the car park I watched heaps of butterflies take to the sky and then settle back down again on the flowers, it was really lovely.

So if you find yourself at the car park near the old (closed) Caldons Campsite/Southern Uplands Way at Glentrool then check out the flowers and on top of the bracken along the side road that leads to the car park. If the butterflies are all still there the sheer number of them will make you smile like it did me!

Until next time

Monday, 17 August 2009

River crossing in style!

You may have noticed that we have had a diversion on our yellow trail at Glentrool because of damaged bridges? Well we are almost there and soon will have a very smart looking bridge as their replacement. The guys are working really hard and so we hope to be able to have it open soon.

It is not in a condition to use now as it is not finished, so please continue to follow the diversions that are in place. As soon as it's finished I'll let you know, so keep an eye on the blog!!

There is a picture taken today of the new bridge being built and also a couple of other photos of Glentrool because it was looking so beautiful up there this afternoon!

Until next time

Home tweet home!

Glentrool is great for wildlife watching and now you can do it whilst having a cup of tea in the visitor centre!

These two Swallows have set up home just outside the centre, conveniently near to a video camera we set up earlier in the year which unfortunately didn't get used - well, it did, but as a prop to hold up the Swallows' first nest! So we didn't get any video images of that brood.

It wont be very long before they all have to fly hundreds of miles to their wintering grounds in South Africa. They usually head off in September/October so not long to go!

Keep checking the blog and we will keep you updated with their progress before they go.


Monday, 3 August 2009

Sealed Knot at Kirroughtree Visitor Centre

Turn back the clock a few hundred years and Kirroughtree would have looked very different... almost like it did at the weekend at our Sealed Knot event!

Our events area was transformed into a 17th Century encampment complete with traditional dress, games, food and music.

Over a hundred members from Sealed Knot came to Kirroughtree to bring history alive with guided walks, talks, their living history camp and of course the big battle on Sunday! It was a great weekend with lots of 'have a go' oppotunities for families to find out what life would have been like all those years ago.

Check out our slideshow below where you can see some of the pictures of Sealed Knot we took at the weekend.

A big thank you to all Sealed Knot members who were involved.

Until next time,

Unexpected visitor to the forest!

Gannet found in Kirroughtree forest

Last week we had a report from a member of the public that there was a big white bird on one of the trails at Kirroughtree, looking a little confused and maybe injured.

So we went to check it out....

Turns out it was a Gannet!!!

As the crow flies it's not that far from the sea to Kirroughtree and we think that the terrible winds of the night before had blown the Gannet off course and into the woods.

We checked to make sure he was ok and that he wasn't injured. He was just just tired and puzzled, and I'm not surprised! We took him not too far away to somewhere he would recognise, the sea, and released him. He sat on the rocks for a while, said goodbye (I'm sure he must have in a Gannet way) and then he was off.

Gannets are truly stunning birds and at their best when diving in to the sea for their tea, which I'm sure our Gannet is doing right now!