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Home Explore Wagtail Newsletter Issue 37

Wagtail Newsletter Issue 37

Published by Strategic Services, 2017-12-04 05:28:50

Description: Winter 2017 update of the Quarterly Newsletter for the Dams to Darnley Country Park

Keywords: Environment,Darnley,Country Park


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issue no.37 www.damstodarnley.orgWrap up for winterWinter comes to Balgray Reservoir. Copyright Fergus 2011. All Rights Reserved. Welcome to our thirty seventh edition of Wagtail, the newsletter and events calendar for Dams to Darnley Country Park. Inside you will find: – Summer and autumn events look back - Aurs Road closure - Joe and Alyson’s wildlife witter - 20 years of bird numbers at Balgray - Balgray Reservoir boardwalk - Spotlight on the northern lapwing - Winter events calendar The next edition of Wagtail will be out in spring 2018.Event roundup Our summer shelter event about how and whereBugs in the bushes. JUNE SAW US USING nets, saw another successful session Charles Tennant invented bug pots and sheets to catch falling insects from trees and of daring dens, cosy camps bleach back in the late bushes. We got to see a huge range of what can be and revelatory refuges. 1700s. found living in the country park at our bugs & bees Fingers were at the ready October was busy with event. Later the same month those visitors who booked on our flowers, photos and fun events. Much mess and on and guided themselves round the country park’s event when a leisurely stroll merriment was had at our orienteering course enjoyed a picnic in the sunshine round the mill pond resulted arts and craft afternoon at the half way point; a perfect way to celebrate in lots of keen eyed, snap with paints, pipe cleaners, Father’s Day. happy folks, young and old, glue and ‘green men’ faces. producing amazing colourful To end on a high, we images. September also saw had spooky Saturday the first of our two autumn where those who dared bat walks, with both events to venture in to the woods proving hugely popular as were taken round the everyone got to hear and pond to hear terrifying see some bats. tales of witches and woes On our coal, chlorine and amongst some cobwebby cloth walk we got to learn tombstones.Aurs Road closure overleaf. Scottish Water will advertised. Property access also be using the road closure within the extent of the closureA SERIES OF ESSENTIAL allow ground investigations to to remove vegetation along will be permitted by themaintenance and inspection take place along the reservoir the reservoir embankment, contractor, when possible inworks will be taking place next dam. These are required maintain the Victorian water conjunction with the Balgray Reservoir during to inform the development valve tower and reduce the The Balgray Reservoir pathDecember, meaning that a of a proposed boardwalk height of hedgerows. will also require to be closedsection of Aurs Road will be overlooking Balgray Reservoir. intermittently for a numberclosed for approximately three You can find more information Aurs Road will be closed to of days at the point where itweeks. about the boardwalk and how all vehicles and cycles between crosses Aurs Road. Notices you can contribute to its design its junctions at Springfield Road advising of the dates will be The closure is principally to and Stewarton Road from 4th posted on site and on the to 22nd December. country park Facebook page. Diversionary routes will be

Spotlighton park wildlifeJoe and Alyson’swildlife witter Whooper swans on Ryat Linn Reservoir.AS THE SEASONS CHANGE, light for them. At this time of hibernate. In addition to there too. Here are a fewso does the wildlife, sort year they are making their hibernating, bats also go suggestions as to how to goof. Migratory bird species way back to southern parts through periods of torpor about ‘wilding’ a garden inwill start to appear, coming of Europe and Sub Saharan just before, and sometimes winter to encourage moreto spend their winter in Africa to overwinter. Painted after, hibernation. Torpor wildlife to visit. Hang birdwarmer climes. Examples lady and red admiral is a state of decreased feeders up and restockinclude redwings, fieldfares butterflies also migrate south physiological activity regularly, build and putand whooper swans from to secure a food supply for where body temperature up a nest box and put outScandinavia and Russia. their caterpillars. But food and metabolic rate reduce. warm water for birds toRedwings were spotted availability is a key reason This allows bats to survive have a bath. Also makeon Ryat Linn Reservoir in why so many bird and during periods where food sure you float a ball in anyOctober and whooper insect species migrate to is unavailable. Often this ponds to stop them fromswans in early November. overwinter in the UK – their is because it is too cold for freezing over. This way any food is often hidden under flying insects to be out, the resident amphibians lurking Some insect eating snow and ice! main food source of bats. at the bottom can get outspecies such as swallows if they want to.visit in the summer when Other species such as bats If you have a garden thenthere is plenty of food and disappear during winter to remember about the wildlife20 years ofbird numbersat BalgrayTHE BARRHEAD DAMS ARE many other species. In a maximum count of 100 Coot.well known for the birds they the 1990s counts of more tufted ducks in August, downattract especially in winter than 100 coots were also from a maximum of 250- depth analysis needs to beand, as we have records common, but recently we are 300 in the early naughties. done. These results thoughgoing back many years, seeing only one or two on are not peculiar to Balgraywe thought it would be Balgray Reservoir. Similarly Many species though seem Reservoir, they mirror theinteresting to see how some for many years mallards to be holding up. Goldeneye national picture. Whereof the birds have fared over numbered anywhere and goosander numbers species numbers are downthe last 20 years or so on between 50 and 200, but can vary quite a lot year at Balgray Reservoir theyBalgray Reservoir. there seems to be a definite to year, but in general they have declined nationally downward trend in the last are broadly similar. Great and where they are stable The first thing that few years with the average crested grebes also seem this seems to be the widerstrikes us looking at data count being 10. Probably to be doing ok. With the picture. Most alarming is thefrom two decades ago the biggest loss has been exception of one or two very drop in lapwing that the numbers of lapwing. 20 years ago large counts, the maximum Since the 1980s numberssome species was much counts of 500 or more number in the 90s was have dropped by 50% orgreater than today. For lapwing were common, but averaging 10. In the last 10 more across Britain and anexample, in February 1996 today if we see a flock of years the average maximum astonishing 89% in Northern1,141 pochard, 310 teal, 50 or more we are very number of great crested Ireland. Habitat loss and89 whooper swans, 75 lucky. Tufted ducks are also grebes has been 11. changes in farming practicesgoldeneye and 49 wigeon down. Last year we had are thought to be majorwere counted along with This is only a quick look at factors in these losses. a few species and more in

BalgrayReservoirboardwalkWORK TO DESIGN A BOARDWALK ALONGSIDEBalgray Reservoir is underway. The boardwalk proposalis part of a wider Glasgow City Region City Deal projectto realign Aurs Road and create a much needed new pathto and through the country park from Newton Mearns.The improvements will also deliver better path connections Balgray Barrhead. With funding from Sustrans Community Links and the City Deal a design team, led by landscape architects ERZ,has been appointed to progress preliminary designs for the boardwalk. The team will be working on the design ofeach boardwalk element, such as surfacing, handrails, signage and lighting. They will also be looking at the wideropportunities that the boardwalk could bring, for example around education, biodiversity, landscaping and play. Community engagement will be a key part of ERZ’s work. It will be essential to understand how the boardwalk will beused and ensure that it is safe and accessible to all. Between now and Spring 2018 ERZ will be gathering the views ofcountry park visitors, local residents, groups and partners through a variety of means such as events, activities, discussionsand social media. There will also be opportunities for local residents to work with a number of artists to develop ideas fordistinct design elements for the boardwalk. Further information about how you can contribute to the design of the boardwalk and connecting path links will bepromoted over the coming weeks and months. on the northern lapwingLapwing facts:• The lapwing has many local names in addition to the green plover, such as ‘tieve’s nacket’ (Shetland), ‘toppyup’ (Borders) and ‘lappy’ (Yorkshire).• Some local names were pejorative and that association still exists. The collective noun for lapwing is ‘a deceit’.• In the 19th century lapwing eggs were a delicacy throughout Europe and were collected in their tens of thousands in Britain. Northern lapwing.THE NORTHERN LAPWING (VANELLUS VANELLUS), a potential predator it will often fly at it or will even pretendor more commonly just lapwing, is also known as a to have a broken wing in the hope of enticing it away.peewit because of its call or locally the green plover. Itis a common sight around farmlands and in winter large The adult lapwing is a beautiful bird when seen up closeflocks of lapwing can be seen when our local birds are with shiny emerald green upper body and white underparts.supplemented by visitors from Europe. It has orange under its tail and a black chest with a black ‘mask’ on a white face. A lapwing’s most recognisable Lapwings nest on the ground in little more than a scrape. feature is its long, upswept crest. Sadly, as highlightedThis means that their eggs and chicks have to be highly elsewhere in this edition of Wagtail, lapwing numbers havecamouflaged to hide them from predators. If the adult spots plummeted in recent years.

Dams to Darnley Country Park • All events are FREE. • Booking is required for some events.Events calendar • All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.Build a bird box A pale blue dotSunday 21 January, 11am-1pm Friday 9 March, 6.30-8.30pm Description: Help do your bit for the birds found in your Description: Carl Sagan famously described Earthgarden and join the countryside rangers as we build some as a very small pale blue dot in a vast cosmic arena.bird boxes and feeders for you to take home. Come along and join the experts as we gaze throughLocation: Meet at the World Buffet some astronomical telescopes at our near and not-so-nearrestaurant car park, Corselet Road, neighbours in space and learn a little more about Earth’sDarnley G53 7RN. place in it. Location: Meet at the Balgray Reservoir car park,Winged winter wanderers of Balgray Balgraystone Road, off Springfield Road,Sunday 4 February, 11am-1pm Barrhead G77 6PG.Description: Grab your bins and scopes and comealong with the countryside rangers on a winter wander to What’s whittling?see which birds are visiting Balgray Reservoir this year. Saturday 10 March, 12.30-3.30pm Our four mile walk is the perfect way to work up an Description: While away a few hours whittlingappetite for Sunday lunch. something whimsical from a lowly stick and hone yourLocation: Meet at the Balgray Reservoir car park, safe knife skills to create a wand, a spatula or perhapsBalgraystone Road, off Springfield Road, even a spoon. Spaces are limited so book early to avoidBarrhead G77 6PG. disappointment. All tools and materials will be provided. Location: Meet at the World BuffetBird ringing restaurant car park, Corselet Road,Saturday 24 February, 10am-12noon Darnley G53 7RN.Description: Join the countryside rangers for a big gardenbird watch with a difference. Watch science happen with Wet ‘n’ wildthe Clyde Bird Ringing Group. There will be a chance to Sunday 25 March, 1-3pm see some birds up close and maybe handle a few of them Description: Discover the country park’s wetlands onunder supervision. This is a drop-in event so no booking this family pond dip. See what wildlife lurks beneath theis required. water of our ponds.Location: Signposted from World Buffet Location: Meet at the World Buffetrestaurant car park, Corselet Road, restaurant car park, Corselet Road,Darnley G53 7RN. Darnley G53 7RN. KEY CHARTBooking No booking Wear suitable Bringrequired required clothing binocularsJoin our mailing list or contact the countryside rangersThe Dams to Darnley countryside rangers are planning a series of events throughout the year.If you would like to be sent information on upcoming events and all the latest news join our mailing list.Name _________________________________________ Email Address _________________________________Address _______________________________________ Telephone No _______________________________________________________________________________ This information will be treated as confidential and used only for the purpose stated. If you do not wish your details to be held on computer tick this boxTo join our mailing list post or email your details to the address below.Email: [email protected] Post: Dams to Darnley Country Park, East RenfrewshireTel: 0141 577 4053/54 Council, Environment Department, ThornliebankWeb: Depot, 190 Carnwadric Road, Thornliebank, East Renfrewshire G46 8HR.

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