I Heard a Bird Sing in December
“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.” - Oliver Herford
Winter gets it grip on Rannoch
Rannoch always manages to attract the hardiest of fishermen, even in the depths of winter. Pike fishing is extremely popular at this time of year. However since the early part of November our banksides have seen little or no activity, I wonder what the Christmas period will bring? As this goes to publication, winter has well and truly got its claws into the local area. After a fairly quiet start, this week has seen 5-8 cms of snow which has given a good covering to the countryside, which makes it a joy to photograph, but somewhat hazardous to navigate. I expect it will be all gone before the Christmas period starts in earnest.
Why All The Fuss?
Or more importantly, "Why all the fuss about Waxwings"? RSPB Tayside & Fife, (@RSPBLochLEven), tweeted that the first Waxwing had been spotted near their office in Perth! (https://twitter.com/RSPBLochLeven/status/935802440628228096)
These winter visitors appear on the East Coast from Scotland to East Anglia, having strayed from their more traditional feeding grounds in mainland Europe. In the UK they are non-breeders, and come across in small numbers, however in some years they may appear in larger numbers known as "Irruptions", due to a shortage of food in their main breeding grounds. Some bird watching experts are predicting just such an occurence.
Described as a small bird, slightly smaller than a Starling. They are partial to winter berries, in particular Rowan and Hawthorne.
One particular website described the Waxwing as one of the World's 15 most attractive birds.
So, the bird feeders have been topped up, and I'm poised by the kitchen window, binoculars in hand, prepared to tweet my first sighting! You can read more about this little bird here:
If you have a sighting please let us know.
I'm an inveterate, if rather poor user of Twitter. I tend to scroll randomly through tweets, but very rarely tweet myself. However, you never know what you're going to come across. Did you know that Tuesday the 5th of December 2017, was "World Soil Day"? no neither did I. This led me to the Scotland Soil Website, a place described by Karen Dobble, Principle Soil Scientist at SEPA, "for you to get all the information and data you need about soil - whatever your reason". Head over there, it's strangely fascinating: soils.environment.gov.scot
A Message from our "Chair", Some Changes at LRCA Headquarters
We are a small concern, that relies on the commitment and hard-work of local volunteers. As alway's people come and go, and the final board meeting in November saw some changes.
Alex Grosset will be standing down, having served the Board for many years as both a member of the Community Council and a Riparian owner. Alex will be replaced by Andrew Duncan who lives with his family at West Tempar, and is himself a Riparian owner.
Our Treasurer of many years, Maggie Legate, (of whom more in a moment), stood down, and will be replaced by Kim Massey who owns a property at East Camghouran. We are enormously pleased to secure her services, and look forward to working with her.
As already mentioned, Maggie Legate will stand down as our Treasurer, having filled the position for a number of years. Both Maggie and her husband Richard, were staunch supporters of the work that we do, and when Richard stepped down from his role as Senior Warden/Company Secretary a few years ago, Maggie agreed to continue until someone else could be found. Maggie has been instrumental in ensuring that the LRCA moves into the future on a firm financial footing, and her advice and wise counsel will be missed. Maggie isn't quite riding off into the sunset just yet, she has agreed to support Kim whilst she learns the ropes over the next few months.
Maggie sent a short note of thanks that she wanted circulating amongst LRCA members
"I just wanted to say many thanks for the fabulous begonia, beautifully flowering in a vivid Christmassy deep red and also for the gardening vouchers, an excellent choice! I can assure you that I will take great pleasure in spending them and, I will also take great pleasure during the long dark wintery nights planning how I'm going to spend them!
Although I had been trying to retire for some time, there is a certain sadness at severing ties with the LRCA after so many years of involvement, however, I'm sure that will disperse fairly quickly. Richard managed it so very well after all! I hope you'll pass on my sincere thanks to the rest of the board, and I feel that with Kim on board, the finances of the organisation will be in excellent hands."
Contacting the Loch Rannoch Conservation Association
You can visit our website here, http://www.lochrannochconservation.co.uk/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can email the Loch Conservation Officer here, email@example.com regarding any fishing, camping, or boating matter.
You can ring or text to, 07770 293559