Update from the Reserve – January 2019
Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 28th January 2019
New year, new adventures – yet the same dedication to conservation, land management and rewilding! We hope you’ve had a wonderful start to the New Year and we can’t wait to share with you the challenges and successes that 2019 will bring us. In this month’s Reserve Update, we bring you some exciting wildlife news, we reveal the community’s Favourite Moment of 2018, and we give you a small peak of what goes on behind-the-scenes on the Nature Reserves.
Hedgehogs: Cute, Spiky, And… With Powerful Bites?
In November, we welcomed four hedgehogs to our Hedgehog Sanctuary in the Glencoe Wood Nature Reserve – and this month we have added another three! Six of the residents are rescue hedgehogs, to which we offer food and shelter until they reach a healthy weight to be able to survive Winter hibernation in the wild.
The initial four hogs are already back in the wild, but the two new rescue hedgehogs have decided not to wander off, and instead, they have stayed around the house – with our hospitality, tasty free food, and shelter, we can’t blame them! The remaining hedgehog is blind in one eye, and therefore unable to survive on his own, making it our first ‘guest’ in the Hedgehog Forever Home area that we built back in September.
So far, the release of the hedgehogs to the wild have all gone flawlessly… until our latest release. Let’s just say I learned that hedgehogs have extremely powerful bites the hard way! The little one would just not let go of my finger, but luckily I still had my wildcat trapping gloves on.
Your Favourite Moment of 2018
Last month, we asked the community to review the most exciting moments of 2018 and vote on their favourite. After over 190 responses, the results are in. With an impressive 39% of the votes, the winner is… July and the Scottish Wildcat kittens rescue! We cannot say we are shocked or surprised – from the start, the community has been extremely engaged and made fantastic efforts to help us protect this iconic Scottish species.
An honourable mention to the second and third place, which were December, with the third wildcat kitten rescued and our 400th TripAdvisor review, and November, with the first residents being welcomed to the Hedgehog Sanctuary, respectively.
Thank you to all the Lords, Ladies and Lairds that participated in the voting, and don’t forget you can continue to support the winning moment and wildcat rewilding by adopting a Scottish Wildcat.
Visit Your Plot & The Nature Reserve
Lower temperatures mean a quieter Reserve – both wildlife and visitor wise – but absolutely stunning landscapes remain, making this the perfect time for coming to visit your plot and the Nature Reserve. As the snow starts to dust over the hills, there are lovely colours and contrasts all around us – so make sure you pay us a visit. Book the Meet and Greet service for an unforgettable experience and a guided tour of the Reserve.
Make Your Loved One a Lord or Lady
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and we have a little something to help you get the perfect gift for your other half. Commemorate your love by making your significant other a Lord or Lady of Glencoe*, while giving them the everlasting gift of conservation with their very own plot of land* in the Scottish Highlands. Use the code LOVE15 for 15% off all plots and accessories!
The Reserve’s All-Seeing Eye
Everyone loves the wildlife videos we share on our blog and social media, but there is a long process between the clips being filmed and you being able to enjoy them – and it all starts with the Reserve’s all-seeing eyes: the spycams!
We now have 10 spycams spread across the Reserve, with each camera being equipped with an SD Card with 64GB of memory. These cameras are triggered by movement and once triggered they record a 1-minute clip. This sophisticated technology means that quite literally anything can trigger the camera – from a small mouse crossing the lens to big beautiful red deer, or from a branch to a blade of grass blowing in the wind. Even heavy rain can start it filming sometimes. We replace the SD cards as often as time allows, which means, on average, each camera will have recorded 250 to 300 1-minute clips.
So 300 1-minute clips (300 minutes) across all 10 cameras (3,000 minutes) – that is roughly 50 hours of raw footage that needs to be manually reviewed for usable, interesting clips! Our team then sits and reviews the raw footage, and in the best case scenario, we get approximately 10 usable clips out of each camera. It is a time-consuming and challenging process, but in the end, we think it’s worth it. We get to share snippets of our wildlife at the Reserve to all of you, around the world – from woodpeckers and pine martens to red foxes and hedgehogs. Our latest video compiles day and night clips of the same feeder… but being used by totally different visitors, and if they were to mistime things, and arrive at the same time, the outcome would be totally different – don’t miss it!