Ranger Diaries: Summer at Bowhill

Despite the weather being a bit driech in the Borders this summer, it has not stopped Andy the Ranger from running lots of activities and surveys! Find out what’s been going on across the Grounds with Andy’s Ranger Diaries.


Mini Rangers

The themed events have been a great success, with kids and parents alike thoroughly enjoying the Water, Woods and Wilderness sessions at Bowhill. During the water session the kids have made some amazing finds on the Upper Loch, with lots of young frogs, newts (Eft’s) and even a Water Scorpion (Nepa cinerea), which uses its front legs to catch prey and its stinger like tail to breathe!

Whilst in the woods there has been mini bug hotels built as winter shelters for a host of beasties, including one of my favourites the Shield bug (Pentatoma rufipes) and the colourful but predatory Carabus Beetle (Carabus problematicus), which spends most of its time around deadwood and leaf litter.

Carabus Beetle

Carabus Beetle (Carabus Problematicus) found under deadwood near the Vista.

Shield Bug

Shield Bug (Pentatoma rufipes) found hitching a ride on my trousers.

Wildlife Watch

The biodiversity at Bowhill is nothing short of outstanding and my first few months have been spent scoping various communities and populations.

Making a start with the National Bat Monitoring Program (NBMP) Waterway surveys, there is definitely a very healthy population of Daubenton bats (Myotis Daubentonii) on both the Yarrow and Ettrick.

Teaming up with Lisa McLeish from local CIC Go Wild we recorded a total of 62 definite Daubenton passes on the Yarrow and an astounding 152 definite passes on the Ettrick. Lisa even managed to capture some amazing footage on her thermal imaging camera.

Following on from the formal surveys, Charlie one of the gardening team had alerted me to the potential presence of Brown long eared bats (Plecotus auratus) at the Gardeners Cottage. Carrying out a very relaxed and informal emergence survey, not only did Charlie, Lisa and myself confirm a small population of Brown long eared were in residence but also recorded Noctule (Nyctalus noctule) and abundant Pipistrelle in the area.

If you have seen anything of note, or are part of a group that would like to visit the Estate to contribute to our recording, please send me an email to bowhillranger@buccleuch.com

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