Wildlife Challenges In Lockdown
There are several bird challenges. Members have been asked to keep an eye out for ospreys, you may spot one fishing over the river. They have also been asked to look for a blackcap. These birds skulk around in the bushes so they can be difficult to see but their song is beautiful – make sure you can distinguish it from a garden warbler.
Bird lovers are also looking for sand martins. These birds make nest burrows in sandy cliffs – you can see them popping in and out of their holes in suitable places along the banks of the River Don. Now is a good time to sort out sand martins, from swallows and house martins and you may be lucky enough to spot their different nests. This is also a good time to listen out for the cuckoo too.
On plants there are several challenges one is to record a wood anemone. This species is quite widespread and easily recognisable, but don't confuse it with wood sorrel which has quite different leaves. The other challenge is to record a hairy wood-rush. Quite a widespread species but not so easy to identify as several other species of woodrush grow in Aberdeenshire. The group have a guide to local plants.
The group are also trying the challenge of trying to identify and record any bumblebee members see and what they are foraging on. The group have an ID chart to help them identify the bees but this is very difficult, not only because bees fly pretty fast.
Members are also looking for Roe deer and signs of their activity.