Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Welcome and when will it stop raining?

It has been a damp and dismal few weeks across the whole of the uk, and Arran, sitting in the gulf stream as it is, has endured the worst of the wet weather. Luckily for us we have steep hills and rivers that run off into the sea, and so rarely suffer catastrophic flooding. This may not seem the case to the campers recently airlifted out of Glen Rosa! On a less disastrous level, the weather has hampered a lot of the work up at the Rangers Centre at Brodick Castle. I have been unable to get out and finish a fixed point photography project that I started weeks ago, as there has been so much mist and clag around. Last week's ptarmigan survey was limited due to apalling visibility on the hill which made it unsafe to spread out into a long beating line, instead keeping groups together, and impossible to see any birds with visibility down to a few metres. Some possible signs were discovered, including droppings and feathers, but nothing conclusive. I was up on Goatfell for this survey, with a team consisting of rangers from Glencoe and the Trust's ecologist. It was a great day out, with fantastic folk, but sadly no sign of the elusive ptarmigan.

As the summer season winds down it is a chance for everyone to take stock here, and try and work out whether it has been a good or bad summer overall. My guided walks are slowing down, but I'm still incredibly busy with work, particularly as we are now just days away from the Isle of Arran Outdoor and Walking Festival. This will be four days of guided walks and evening events. If you are interested in taking part, have a look at our website: http://www.arranoutdoorfestival.co.uk

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