Welcome to our joint-blogging series for the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge – you can read more about the campaign and ourselves in our introduction page.
Matt (in western Scotland)
If every day could be like today, life would be perfect, which really shows the value of going wild.
By 5am I was looking for otters. And as I’ve just been typing we’ve all dashed outside to see an otter at 9pm at night.
I’m now back at the iPad typing away having watched an otter make its way through the bay.
A few minutes ago I had a sore back from lying on the floor for three hours waiting for the pine martens with limited success. But it’s all forgotten after seeing my first Scottish otter in a while, and Megan’s first ever
And I haven’t even mentioned the extremely rare northern emerald dragonfly I spotted this morning or the chequered skipper butterfly we found, or the newts and toads I held.
Most importantly, I feel restored and refreshed, and have shared these experiences with amazing, talented, knowledgeable friends.
Megan (in western Scotland)
If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll know that I am already having a fantastic time in Scotland watching wildlife. The evening eclipsed all that when pine martens, yes PINE MARTENS!!!!!, appeared just outside the garden. Beth and I practically died of excitement – Beth cried and I was almost not breathing. It even came up onto the steps by us!
As I write now, it is early evening and we are all hanging out in the conservatory waiting for the pine martens to reappear. We think there are three individuals.
In terms of today, we went off to Claish Moss in search of more wildlife in different habitats. Very tiring walk, but totally worth it. There are no set footpaths on Claish Moss itself, as visitors aren’t encouraged since the bog is pretty dangerous to walk across due to, well, it being a bog. We went down a track in the neighbouring forest to access the reserve. There were lots of wonderful insects for me to marvel at including plenty of Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata) moths, dragonflies and best of all, a Chequered Skipper (Carterocephalus palaemon) butterfly! This beautiful little skipper is found only in north-western Scotland and was one of the target species of this holiday.
Coming back to this post because OTTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My first ever!! After assisting on otter spraint surveys, dissecting otter spraint for dietary analysis, seen otter prints and finding otter anal jelly, I was desperate to see an otter. It is even one of my 2015 Wildlife Resolutions! When the call resonated through the cottage of “Otter!”, I was just putting my laptop onto charge. I raced through the house, almost knocking over a couple of the others and almost had a heart attack when I saw it. Otter!!!!