Haremoss’ popularity is in no doubt

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The weird weather of June continues with a 10 degree variation in temperature from one day to the next. On one of the warmer evenings, I popped up to the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s reserve at Haremoss, between Ashkirk and Selkirk, to carry out a simple botanical survey.

It only involved noting all the plants growing in two predetermined squares but I wasn’t quite prepared for the other stuff I would see while staring intently at the ground on a warm dry evening. It was teeming with insect life of all forms and I was quite staggered at the amount and complexity. Spiders, grasshoppers, beetles, moths, damselflies, weevils, clegs – you name it, it was there. Even the air was filled with a combination of down from the waterside willows and clouds of flies and gnats.

Birdsong too was much in evidence from the local population of sedge and willow warblers, chaffinches, reed buntings and song thrushes, while the swans, tufted ducks, little grebes and mallards went about the business of feeding on the mirror-like water of the lochan.

Earlier that day, a party of schoolchildren from Selkirk had visited the site as part of an environmental project and judging by the comments in the hide diary, they had enjoyed a most interesting and informative visit. The trust is keen for Haremoss to be used as a sort of “outdoor classroom” by local schools and other organisations and would love to hear from teachers or leaders interested in using the site for environmental projects or educational purposes. Anyone interested in finding out more can drop me an email at corbie@homecall.co.uk and I will set the wheels in motion.

A few weeks ago I asked readers if they could come up with any unusual nesting sites for Borders birds this year and W. B. of Galashiels came up with this one in the town centre.

He was enjoying a refreshment in Macari’s Café when he noticed a jackdaw disappearing into a hole in the fascia board above Books Plus across the road. He returned later with his camera and captured the bird just about to leave the nest full of noisy youngsters.