Wowed by shining light of the valley

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Well the weather has finally broken down again, but it was a nice spell while it lasted.

I hit double figures for the first time in my moth trap this year, with 10 species being recorded last Friday.

The saga of my garden nest box and its resident blackbirds is finally over.

The last time I reported, the occupants were reduced to two after the crows took a couple of eggs early on. The youngsters were doing fine and were beginning to grow their feathers until disaster struck again.

Something (probably the crows again) must have terrorised them into leaving the nest before they were ready and I rescued one from the vegetable patch being dragged around by the aforementioned corvid.

It was uninjured, but in shock, so I put it back in the box in the hope that mum would return and feed it. Later in the evening, I checked it and found it still alive but very cold and near to death. I brought it indoors and warmed it inside my cupped hands for about an hour, until I felt movement.

It was starting to recover, so I managed to get a drink of water and a couple of worms down it with the help of a pair of tweezers. Unfortunately, in the middle of “Springwatch” I felt it give up its struggle for life. The next day, a blackbird of a similar age was spotted in my neighbour’s flower bed and had obviously been getting food from its parents, so hopefully at least one of my illfated brood has survived.

I have just finished collating all the cuckoo records kindly sent in by readers and in all they represent 15 separate calling cuckoos from all over the Borders.

Many are from areas not having had cuckoos for several years, so perhaps they are making a bit of a comeback. Let’s hope so. I have sent all the data off to the British Trust for Ornithology, so all your efforts have been put to good use.

I got a fascinating email at the weekend from K.N. who lives in the Ettrick Valley.

He told me: “Of all the wildlife I have experienced over the past nearly 20 years in Ettrick, seeing the vivid green light of a glow worm was perhaps the most unexpected.

“But last night, the unmistakeable glow of a female was visible from over 200m away.

“Closer inspection revealed her to be positioned on a prominent stone. Sadly, she appeared to be alone. I have recorded the sighting with the Scottish Glow Worm Survey.

“I would be interested to know if you have had any similar reports in the Borders.”

Over to you good readers. Have you seen any of these rare and amazing creatures in your area recently?

Please let me know by emailing