27 Jun 2020

Field Notes: Return to Schiehallion

Conservation Officer Izzy Filor reports on her first post-lockdown visit to the Fairy Hill

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We had a lovely couple of days at Schiehallion last week, feeling very lucky to be back on site. My main first impression was how much our planted trees have grown. So many of them are now popping their heads out of the tops of their tree tubes and were swaying about in the wind. The regeneration is looking fantastic too, now the trees are in leaf. The fenced area was littered with seedlings protruding above the heather – I think they’ll be catching me up in height soon.

Tree growth at Schiehallion

The bird song was also amazing, perhaps it’s partly because I’ve got my ear in during lockdown, but the number of stonechat, whinchat, redpoll and meadow pipits calling was amazing. We heard, then saw a first (we think!) for the site – a whitethroat calling from a patch of willow scrub.

Photographs by Liz Auty and Izzy Filor