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An unexpected visitor put in an appearance at an evening talk in one of Nethybridge’s most well known buildings last Friday. The visitor an adventurous young swallow flew in through the open door during a public talk entitled 'Spiders in the web of life in the Cairngorms'. This illustrated talk by David Holloway of the Highland Spider Group was in the historic old kirk building on the outskirts of the village on the B970 near Castle Roy that is now looked after by the Old Kirk Association see http://www.oldkirknethybridge.org/

The old kirk has been the venue for a drop in exhibition on special wildlife of the Cairngorms organized by BSCG under the theme ‘Problems in Paradise’. Coinciding with the Year of Natural Scotland this has been celebrating some of the special and threatened wildlife of the Cairngorms. It showcases information on the top 26 list of species in the Cairngorms that the national park authority announced in May this year it has identified as in need of focussed conservation action in its 2013 – 2018 Cairngorms Nature Action Plan or CNAP. The CNAP successor to the 2002 Cairngorms Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP) was launched by cabinet Secretary Richard Lochead in Aviemore in May over 10 years after the LBAP.

By overnighting in the rafters of the kirk it seems the young swallow made history. The visit for the youngster finally ended the following morning after the doors in the building were reopened when to mutual relief the swallow at last figured out a way to freedom by flying low enough to exit through a specially opened side door in the building. Our thanks are due to the Old kirk Association who kindly showed up to open up the building after the young swallow's unscheduled overnight stay.

The 'Problems in Paradise' exhibition continues until Tuesday in the Old Kirk when it will be open between midday and 5pm. The concluding talk, the 4th this month will be by Dr Tim Poole and is the first to concentrate entirely on a species in the top 26 list that includes 3 birds It is entitled 'The Capercaillie a flagship for Scotland’s pinewoods' and is scheduled for 8Pm on Monday 22nd July. Admission is free refreshment will also be available and all are welcome but hopefully no swallows will be reappearing inside the building.

The capercaillie is on the  UK red list of birds of high conservation concern, BTO Bird Facts:

SNH have now rightly  emphasised the  importance of  woodlands in Strathspey for the survival of  this magnificent bird in Scotland, see The Scotsman article: http://news.scotsman.com/scotland/Capercaillies-on-brink-of-extinction.6692483.jp

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Cock capercaillie photographed in Deeside where capercaillie  have now become extremely rare. Copyright 2011BSCG.