By Sandy Jasper, GWCT Uplands Placement Student
As placement student I have already gained a lot of experience in the two months that I have been working for the GWCT in the Uplands. I have been doing vegetation surveys which require me to identify moorland plants such as the different species of heather and rushes. I have learned to identify moorland birds by sight and sound, including aging grouse.
The Glorious Twelfth marked the start of the shooting season which meant collecting guts from a larder after a day’s shoot. This was my first time gutting a bird and it was surprisingly easy to do. So far, I have done Strongylosis worm counts collected from grouse guts, as well as Strongylosis egg counts found in the caecal produced by the grouse.
I have spent two weeks in the Scottish Highlands putting out camera traps to see what predators are present in the forest that the Capercaillie inhabit. Whilst putting the cameras out I came across several Capercaillies and they are incredible birds. I also saw red deer, roe deer and red squirrels in the forest.
On top of all that, I got to do an all-day off-road 4x4 course that I very much enjoyed. I look forward to seeing what this year will bring and to learn more about the Uplands and its moors.
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