always something new to discover.
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Ranger Spring and Summer Review - August 2012

24-08-2012

It has been a busy summer of sightings and we are thrilled to have seen some basking sharks this season.  IRCT Ranger Mike Werndly gives a quick round up of Spring and Summer 2012.

A good late spring record of a long-eared owl at the Harris tree plot on May 22nd was a welcome change for some.  Two adult Orca were seen off Muck on the 25th June and five were seen again on July 4th.  Four bottle-nosed dolphins were also spotted off Eigg that same day.  Basking sharks have been a wee bit more numerous this season, but still only a handful of records for Rum, including singles in Loch Scresort on 13th and 14th July, and a whopping five seen in the waters off Kilmory on July 21st.

Our White-tailed (Sea) Eagles failed this breeding season, and two pairs of Golden Eagles bred, but only one was successful, fledging one chick.  Other breeding successes include one pair of Greenshank, Short-Eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Merlin, and at least ten pairs of Red-Throated Divers.  Arctic terns did well too, with over ten pairs nesting at Kilmory. 

Other notables include a possible breeding Spotted Flycatcher which was seen on numerous occasions around the Village during May, June and July.   Maybe it was tempted by our warmer, drier summer conditions and the subsequent abundance of insects.

Autumn migration is now underway with a flock of 50+ Twite at Harris on the 5th August and two juvenile Dotterel on Barkeval on the 18th August.

After a lovely warm and dry spring and early summer, Rum had a reprieve from the voracious Midge through most of July.  Rain later in the month, and a wetter August have meant they are now back with a vengeance.  However, we will all remember those beautiful July evenings where we could sit out and relax, rather than just watch out of the window.

For a more detailed report visit Mike’s blog here.

 

Conservation Volunteers Wanted - August 2012

23-08-2012

Volunteer Weekend: Friday 19th-Monday 22nd October 2012

The Isle of Rum Community Trust Ranger Service is looking for 6 volunteers to assist with Rhododendron clearance (using the Lever and Mulch technique).

Rhododendron sp. (c) Mike WerndlyWe would prefer applicants to have some experience in this field already i.e., students and trainee land managers who would like more to add to their CV.However, other applications will be considered. You will need to be physically fit, have a good sense of humour and an interest in the environment.

Successful applicants will be provided with accommodation for the duration of their stay (in our new cabins) and ferry tickets to and from the island (you will have to make your own way to Mallaig our nearest port), and everyone will be rostered on for cooking  duties (1 in 3 not bad).

The evenings will be free, so plenty of time to explore. The island has red-throated divers, golden eagles, otters and many other interesting species.

If this is for you please send a CV and short covering letter/e-mail to Mike Werndly volunteering@isleofrum.com or IRCT Office Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, Inverness-shire PH43 4RR by 1st Oct 2012.

Successful applicants will hear back by 7th Oct at the latest.

 

A Big Step Forward - August 2012

18-08-2012

At long last Rum residents are now able to recycle some plastics.  This is a great step forward and we hope that with time we will be able to recycle more than just our plastic bottles, no lids though, as these are a different type of plastic.  Until now, our recycling facilities have only included glass and tins.  

Highland Council tell us that we can put our plastic bottles in with the tin cans.  Excellent.

Midgefest - Saturday 4th August

31-07-2012

Midgefest 2012 was a great success - read the full story over the Midgefest blog

Midgefest!

We’re well into the midge season here on Rum and when the wind drops and the sun goes in or there’s been a bit of rain, out they come to get us. So we could moan about it and curse them ’till we’re covered in itchy lumps and blue in the face, or we could could look at the upside and celebrate the little blood suckers for the good things they do.

About the mighty midge: There are 37 different types of midge in the UK and 5 in Scotland that bite people, although most of the damage is done by the Highland Midge Culicoides Ipmunctatus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_midge).

Reasons to celebrate them (that I can think of and I’m trying quite hard!): They provide a food source (even if only a small one) for some birds, bats and insectivorous plants. They also put some people off of coming to Highland Scotland altogether, which one could see as a positive as beautiful but midgie places might otherwise become overrun with the trappings of mass tourism…and I can’t think of any more positives just at the moment.

So, if not for these reasons, we will just celebrate in adversity and mostly look forward to the chance to welcome people to the Isle of Rum to celebrate with us. The event is a family orientated fun day with crafts and games for the children, BBQ, disco and more so if anyone is interested it’s a ‘the more the merrier’ type affair, the details are on the poster and spread the word!…

Midge Fest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feasibility Study for Village Regeneration - July 2012

31-07-2012

leader logo (c) Vikki TrelferEarlier this year the Isle of Rum Community Trust received funding from LEADER to carry out a feasibility study looking at redeveloping an agricultural steading in the village centre, and building a community-owned bunkhouse.  Neil Sutherland Architects have worked with the community & partners over the past six months to come up with designs for a simple bunkhouse and for the steading redevelopment, which would incorporate a new cafe, visitor centre, teaching space, shop, and self-contained holiday accommodation. 

The feasibility study is now complete, and designs will be on display in the Village Hall until the autumn.  Capital funding is being sought for a community owned bunkhouse near the campsite, and the hard work to secure the capital required to take forward the ambitious plans for the steading redevelopment has just begun!

Click here to see the Bunkhouse elevation drawings.

 

Elsa Jean McTaggart - The 2012 Hat Tour - July 2012

21-07-2012

Elsa Jean McTaggart (c) Nic Goddard

Last night (Friday 20th July) we were treated to a performance by the lovely Elsa Jean McTaggart - fiddle player, guitarist, accordion player and singer: is there nothing she can't do?  She is full of stories both thoughful and funny, and her happy folksy tunes had toes tapping across the hall.  The evening culminated in a bit of ceilidh dancing which we just can't get enough of, and we hope she'll return next year.

With a bit of paraphrasing some of her songs could have been about our own wee island:
Where the marram grass grows
And time goes slow,
And the mountain shelters me...
Elsa Jean McTaggart - please buy a bit of Rum and build a shed here.  We promise that no-one will steal your wheelbarrow.  We know, we know, you're the one for us!
If you get the chance to see her perform in a village hall near you this summer, we strongly recommend that you go along.
www.mctaggart.info

 

Rum Woodcock Russian Recovery - July 2012

20-07-2012

Another Rum ringed woodcock has been recovered in Russia.  The bird was ringed in Kinloch on the Isle of Rum two days after Christmas in 2011 and was shot in Derevik in the Russian Federation on 20 April 2012.  This was a straight line distance of 2219km.


View Woodcock EW27941 in a larger map Zoom out to see full distance

This follows the first report of a bird ringed on Rum in March 2010 and shot in the Voznesenskiy District of Russia the following month, a distance of 3046km.


View Woodcock Recovery EW27778 in a larger map Zoom out to see the full distance

Both birds were probably on migration through Rum when they were ringed but could have been on their breeding grounds when shot in Russia.  While the woodcock is a species that breeds in Britain and on Rum, the winter population is swelled by many thousands of birds escaping frozen conditions in the east of Europe.  These birds usually start arriving in Britain in November and those that pass through Rum often carry on further south and west to Ireland, as another bird caught on Rum demonstrates.  This individual was ringed in Kinloch on 17 December 2011 and was shot just 23 days later in Ballymote, Ireland.


View Woodcock recovery EW27913 in a larger map Zoom out to see full distance

Woodcock ringed, weighed and measured on Rum (c) Sean MorrisRinging studies of winter woodcock on Rum have also shown that a small number of birds spend the whole winter from November to March on the island and also return in subsequent winters.

More information on woodcock can be found at the Woodcock Network

Sean Morris, Isle of Rum

 

 

 

 

Crofters finally arrive on croft - June 2012

03-07-2012

 

Getting to the track (c) Nic GoddardAfter two months of actually living on the island,the new crofters Nic, Ady, Davies and Scarlett have finally made it onto the croft The final hurdle - crossing Kinloch River (c) Nic Goddardlsnd with their mobile home.

Thanks to a crew of helpers from Eigg headed up by Alisdair Kirk and a team of fellow Rum islanders the static made the final mile from the nature trail to croft 3.

It was an epic journey with many dark moments as we lost wheels, scrambled down banks and paused for 6 nights in a particularly midgey spot on the nature trail, but with much blood, sweat, tears, beers and swearing, we finally got there and are thrilled to be 'home'.  

The full story can be found here

 

 

Bike Hire now here - June 2012

14-06-2012

Cycle hire (c) Fliss FraserBike hire is now available on the Isle of Rum. 

Fliss and Sandy have now have bikes for hire. Whether for a half day trip around the village or a whole day of adventures in the NNR, they have a range of mountain bikes to suit, although no children's bikes at the moment.

For more information call into the Craft Shop, e-mail fliss@isleofrum.com or follow this link to their website.

We wish them every success.

 

 

 

Conservation Volunteers Wanted for 13th-16th July - June 2012

11-06-2012

The Isle of Rum Community Trust Ranger Service is looking for 6 volunteers to assist with Rhododendron clearance (using the Lever and Mulch technique), and wildlife Rhododendron (c) Mike Werndlygardening in our Community Garden.

 
We would prefer applicants to have some experience in this field already i.e., students and trainee land managers who would like more to add to their CV. However, other applications will be considered. You will need to be physically fit, have a good sense of humour and an interest in the environment (and not too bothered by midges; midge jackets will be provided...it’s not always bad on here anyway!?).
 
Successful applicants will be provided with accommodation for the duration of their stay (in our new cabins) and ferry tickets to and from the island (you will have to make your own way to Mallaig our nearest port), and everyone will be rostered on for cooking duties (1 in 3 not bad).
 
The evenings will be free, so plenty of time to explore. The island has red-throated divers, manx shearwaters, golden eagles, otters and many other interesting species.
 
If this is for you please send a CV and short covering letter/e-mail to Mike Werndly rangerisleofrum@yahoo.co.uk or IRCT Office Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, Inverness-shire PH43 4RR by Friday June 22nd.  Successful applicants will hear back by June 29th at the latest.
 
 
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