Posted by: cullaloelnr | March 8, 2008

The Flying Flock

The weather has been pretty awful the past few days, so I’ve not had much chance to get to the reserve. Last time i was there was on Thursday, which was simply a quite trip to top up the seed feeders.
Mind you, i did get my first Sparrowhawk sighting of the year then, so I’m certainly not complaining! The Species list continues to grow. I don’t think it will be too long now till we start seeing and hearing the first arrivals of the spring and summer migrants.

Since i haven’t been on the reserve much and can’t update you on what is happening just now, i figured I’d use the opportunity to explain what the flying flock is and why they are on the reserve.
I mentioned in my last post that some sheep have arrived from the flying flock and are grazing one of the meadows on the reserve. The flying flock is SWTs own flock of sheep. They travel around various sites both in Fife and in other predominantly lowland areas. I think in total the SWT have over 300 sheep now, although only 25 of these are currently resident at Cullaloe.
The purpose of the flying flock is to provide practical management for some reserves in the form of grazing. By regularly grazing certain areas, they can actually help preserve the variety of plant species in the area. They can help prevent areas from becoming overgrown and dominated by particularly invasive species.
Currently at Cullaloe, they only graze one meadow, but there are plans to have them start grazing a second meadow on the reserve. We don’t have them at Cullaloe all year round. That would result in the meadows being over grazed and little growing there. It is done at specific times of the year to preserve plant species.

So there you have it. I probably could have written for hours about the flying flock, but i figured it would be best to give just a small indication of why they were there.

Hopefully the weather will improve so that i can give a good report of things happening on the reserve next time!

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