24 Aug 2023
Welcome to week 11 of our ranger round up. We had another busy week with rockpool rambles and our last summer ranger shorewatch session. We also celebrated the 39th birthday of the BMR in the traditional way!
Time has flown this summer and our MEC is now open for only just over 1 week. We still have plenty to offer for visitors and our lobster hatchery is as busy as ever with daily larvae hatchings. Lizzie is currently releasing her stage 1 larvae which can be seen (and named) at our MEC in Eyemouth. At the start of September, when these little cuties are bigger and better able to fend for themselves, they will be released into the big blue sea where hopefully in 5 years, they will start hatching young of their own.
We welcomed our 2000th visitors on Wednesday the 17th with Finlay dressed as a Lobster at our front door, ready to welcome them in and present the lucky visitors with a lobster mug and coaster.
Our last ranger lead WDC Shorewatch took place on Wednesday at Eyemouth Gullies where Finlay was joined by a handful of eager whale watchers. With the water calm and the rain staying away, all signs pointed toward seeing some cetaceans. Although there were plenty of grey seals hauled out on the rocks we were unsuccessful in seeing any whales or dolphins, but had a very pleasant morning, and as always it was great to engage with people eager to observe the fantastic biodiversity we have here in the BMR.
Guided Wildlife Walk
Seren joined our wonderful volunteer Sam with leading a coastline walk spanning from St Abbs to Eyemouth. With the sun shining it was the perfect day to show off our coastline to the guided group. From field scabious, to ladys bedstraw, we enjoyed the stunning colours of the beautiful yet resilient flowering plants of our coastline brightening the paths. We briefly took the time to explore the rockpools of Coldingham bay, finding starfish, shrimp, anemones, gobbys amongst a multitude of other wonderful species.
As we continued to walk the path, a huge number of gulls suddenly erupted from a nearby field, where they had been resting moments previously, flying over us chaotically. We observed them flying down to the water from the coastline farmland, wondering what accounted for the sudden change in behaviour. Suddenly, a Kestrel whizzed past us. Whilst unlikely to be a threat, we’ll let the scaredy gulls off the hook seeing as our reserve is also home to a pair of Peregrine falcons. So, understandably the gulls weren’t going to hang about to find out.
As we continued our stroll, we spotted oyster catchers, with their lovely bright orange beaks along the waterfront. And asd we came down to Lincom Bay, we saw a stonechatter sitting atop some reeds, proudly showing off its bright, sunset belly.
There is a lovely wooden staircase which wonderfully flows up through the small valley created by the freshwater coming down to the bay, which takes you from Lincom bay back up to the cliffs, re-joining the coastline path. When suddenly, one of the keen eyed members of the group sudden;y stopped. As we stood on the wooden bridge passing over the freshwater, just to our left, feeding on the fresh riparian vegetation was a Roe deer. This delicate doe stood calmly, chewing its greens, turning its head to acknowledge our presence before going back to finding its nutrient rich lunch. We stood there, quietly taking in the moment, with this calming being only five metres away from us. We were all very grateful for this moment. The doe was unfazed by our company, a wonderful testament to the kind and calm environment of our protected coastline reserve. As we began to turn, attempting to leave it to its peaceful meal, Sam spotted a yellow hammer. This bright yellow ball sat high in a tree, just above our heads.
These wonderful meetings with nature were just a handful of the moments we were lucky enough to experience on our walk. Not to mention the sheer magnificence of its geological structure. Standing at certain points on the path, you are able to look back at the phenomenal view that is our coastline. Such a wonderfully spent day for all in attendance. If you are ever lucky enough to come to our reserve, please take the time to give yourself this experience.
Rockpool ramble with NTS
Finlay Headed to Starney Bay with Jordana from NTS and 5 very eager rockpool ramblers. The rain thankfully stayed away on what was a very cloudy morning. Down in the pools we managed to find hundreds of little shrimp, plenty of shore crabs, and even a rather large Blenny which was named John. A very good morning with plenty of critters and creepy crawlies!
BMR Birthday Celebrations
On Friday the BMR team were joined by some of the staff and volunteers from St Abbs Marine Station to celebatre the BMR's 39th Birthday! 18th August 1984 is the date that the Reserve was officially opened by David Bellamy, who celebrated by jumping into St Abbs harbour. Since then, every year we recreate this jump.