November continued to be a busy month with a number of Friends of Nevis events taking place following on from the AGM at the start of the month. Dougie led an accredited Footpath Awareness day on the 14th of November which was attended by our new trio of Trainee Volunteer Rangers, some local Mountain Leaders, Nevis Partnership's Fundraising Manager and her partner. The walk up the Allt a Mhuillin path took place in excellent weather to see drains and ditches working (i.e. lashing down with rain!!) Some of the discussion on the day also looked at ways of informing walkers about the work done on paths and funded by donations in the cairns.
The Autumn litter pick and curling ponds clear up on the 18th was very well attended with 33 volunteers turning up on the day. Calum Ross kindly organised a chipper to reduce some of the piles of brash left over from thinning out vegetation regrowth at the curling ponds. The day was also an opportunity for three brand new TVR's (Eilidh, Jen and Cormac) to meet Friends of Nevis in person. They were duly detailed to the river banks and cleared up a mass of litter upstream of Nevis Bridge. The Ben Nevis Highland Centre hosted the coffee / shortbread briefing in the morning. FoN really appreciates their support, since FoN began the Litter Picks 10 years ago.
As always great organisation and preparation from Joy, Fiona Wild and Hughie, thanks also to Paul Biggin for his help collecting bags of rubbish at the end of the day and taking it to recycling.
BTO licenced bird ringer John Owen continues to run drop in ringing events at the Visitor Centre aided by FoN trainee ringer Kirstie and Skye based trainee ringer Jonathon. On Sunday 25th November they had 178 captures, 139 new and 39 retraps (numbers in brackets, birds that had been previously ringed on other occasions) The birds ringed included Coat tits 24 (16), Blue tits 28 (8), Great tits 26 (7), Chaffinch 36, Robin 8 (3), Black birds 6, Long tailed tits 3 (1), Dunnock 1 (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Siskin 5, Goldfinch 2 (1), Treecreeper (1).
December Dates for Your Diary
Bird Ringing in Glen Nevis +(Visitor Centre Contemplation Area)
BTO Bird Ringer John Owen and Trainee Ringer Kirstie Ross made good use of a short spell of settled weather and put up their mist nets on the chilly but dry morning of Saturday 27th October.
They recorded 61 new birds caught and 5 re-traps of birds that had been ringed on previous occasions. Birds caught varied from our smallest song bird, the Goldcrest, to Blackbird. 2 new species were recorded for the site on this occasion, Goldcrest and Wren (pictured left, expertly held by John Owen.) More ringing sessions to follow, keep an eye on our website or Facebook page for details.
Sights in the Glen
The low angle sunlight picks out the autumn colours at this time of the year and can make for some stunning scenery
Its a good time of year also to look for species that are normally hidden by the leaves and vegetation.
Graphidion 'Script' Lichens on smooth Hazel stems growing near Lower Falls in the glen.
Glue Crust fungus on a Hazel stem, near Lower Falls. This fungus amazingly keeps dead twigs for itself by gluing them to living branches, therefore preventing them falling to the ground. It is parasitized by the much rarer fungus, Hypocreopsis rhododendri, also known as Hazel Gloves. These look like nature bright orange rubber gloves and are a priority UK BAP species, its stronghold being the Atlantic Hazlewoods of the west coast of Scotland. Keep your eyes peeled!
Footpath Work Party
Dougie and a team of volunteers build a new cross drain on the Lower Falls to Paddy's Bridge path as part of a footpath work party on 2nd November. Interestingly some of the granite blocks that were selected for treadstones showed signs of previous drilling and quarrying, probably from a small granite outcrop above the path. It wasn't immediately obvious what this previous quarrying was for or how long ago it happened.
2018 Friends of Nevis AGM
There was a great turn out for the AGM on Friday 2nd November, with around 50 people attending. The evening started with reports from Friends of Nevis office bearers Joy and Stephen, followed by the announcement of the 'Volunteer of the Year' award recipient. I cant reveal their name at present as they weren't in attendance so they might not know yet!
Adam Pinder, Head Fundraiser for The John Muir Trust, gave a talk about the work of the Trust, some of its challenges and some of its more recent developments: for example Glen Lude in the Borders and Helvellyn in the Lake District.
The Glen Nevis Restaurant provided a bounteous buffet and afterwards there was time for everyone to catch up and have a good blether.
For the Diary
For full details of these events please go to the Events Page or get in touch