Friday, 24 April 2015


A view of the Links from the 6th Medal hole.
On the whole April has been a very dry month with many warm sunny days. Grass growth is still slow and patchy but in the coming weeks this should improve. 
 A few of the tasks that have been carried out this month together with some other pieces of information can be viewed below.

Because of a lack of growth we have only been cutting and rolling the greens when deemed necessary. Greens can be a bit uneven at this time of year due to the variable growth between the different grass species. The use of the greens iron at this time helps to smooth out the putting surface. On days when cutting and rolling hasn't been carried out any due is removed from the greens with the use of a switch.
Liam cutting the 11th Medal green.
Paul rolling the 6th Medal green.
Gary removing the dew from the 9th Medal green.

In addition to the ride on mowers, hand held machines have also been out. We have pedestrian rotary mowers for maintaining mounds and use a strimmer for around tee stones, fences and along the bottom of the burn.
Liam using the strimmer in the burn.

The fairways have recently been treated with an organic fertiliser. Hopefully this will encourage growth and help divot damage that occurred during the winter months to grow in and recover.
Fertilising the 5th Medal fairway.

Rabbits continue to be a problem out on the courses. Shooting is carried out weekly to try and keep numbers down, while staff have spent a lot of time patching the worst of the holes and scrapes.
Ricky patching rabbit holes. 

We have also been carrying out remedial work to our wash bay and associated reed bed.  We have now relocated the pump inside the old shed and are in the process of burying the pipework that carries the waste water to the reed beds.
Jamie carrying out work at the new pipework between the wash bay and reed bed.

The  fence that protects the house at the 13th Medal hole has also been replaced. The old fence was badly damaged during high winds however the new fence was constructed and erected in time for the start of the season.
The new fence at the 13th Medal hole.

Coastal erosion over the winter months has been quite minimal with little ground lost to the sea. Angus council together with their contractors have recently reinstated the fence along the bottom of the dunes at the 2nd and 3rd holes. It is hoped that sand will build up behind this fence and vegetation will get a hold which in turn will help to stabilise the dune edge.
 New posts in place .
 Fencing in place ready to be erected.
 The finished fence.
Finally I would like to remind anyone playing the Broomfield course that as from today ( Friday 24th April ) the new hole configuration is in operation. We have fenced off old routes and white lined areas so as to avoid any confusion. The changes were made to allow the the 9th green and 10th tee to be located close to the clubhouses. This will allow 9 holes competitions to be played over the Course in the future.
The route to the new 4th tee.

Les Rae,
First Assistant, 
Montrose Golf Links Limited.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


A frequent sight during the month of March was the striking colour of the early morning sun as it broke out over the horizon. This photo was taken from the 18th Medal tee as the sun climbed above the gorse bushes. 
The last few weeks have still been quite cold with strong winds not helping. However on days when the wind has died down and the sun has been shining there is a definite warmth in the air. With the lengthening daylight the first signs of Spring are slowly appearing.

One of the first flowers to emerge.This clump was found in the shelter of the gully at the 3rd hole on the Medal course.
This small clump of Crocus could be seen to the left of the 17th Broomfield fairway.
There are a few clumps of these well known flowers around the 2 courses. They only started to come into full flower towards the end of the month.
Goat Willow.
The catkins on the willow trees are only now starting to show. We have a few Willow trees around the Links, the largest grouping being to the right of the 14th Medal green, where this photo was taken.

Common Toads.
March is mating season for both Toads and Frogs, these 2 toads were seen close to the 15th Medal tees. There are good populations of both species on the links and good places to spot them are around the Curlie pond and the burn that crosses the Broomfield course.
Frog spawn.
A few clumps of frog spawn can be seen in the burn, where this photo was taken. As in the photo, frog spawn is found in clumps while Toad spawn is laid in long single lines. I have not seen any Toad spawn either in the burn or the Curlie this year yet.. 
Carrion Crow.
A carrion crow has been guarding this nest site for a couple of months now. Probably because of a lack of trees on the links the crow has decided to get in early and lay claim to last years nest.  This nest can be seen to the right of the 15th Medal fairway and a pair of Carrion Crows have nested here for as long as I can remember.
I have taken a few other photographs this month which for different reasons are quite interesting.
 Roe Deer.
Roe Deer can still be seen almost on a daily basis on the courses. As you can see in the photo above this one has started to grow a set of antlers. Male Roe deer normally start to grow antlers around November, shedding the velvet from them in Spring. You can quite clearly see the velvet on this set.
This is a first for me. In the 25 years that I have lived in Montrose this is the first time that I have seen Magpies around the vicinity of the town, let alone the golf course. I first spotted a pair a few months ago near the 13th hole on the Medal course. Since then I have occasionally seen them in the same area and eventually managed to get a photo of one. I have yet to see any others close to Montrose and I'm not sure if they are here to stay..

 Dead Blackbird.
Not nice to see but part of the cycle of life and death on the links. We picked up this Blackbird on the Broomfield course on the 5th March. The interesting thing is the ring on it's leg.
Bird ring.
This ring has the Museum of London stamped on it and has an unique identification number. I sent the details away to EURING who hold all the details regarding ringed birds. Their records showed that it was a juvenile male bird and it was ringed 248 days beforehand on the 30th June 2014. It was ringed by a member of the Tay ringing group in Wellington Park, Montrose. 
I have now written a monthly 'A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE' report for a full year now and feel its a good time to stop, otherwise I would probably start repeating myself. I will continue to post anything of interest that I come across, under the same title, as and when I see it.
  I hope those of you who have taken the time to read my wildlife blog have enjoyed it, and it gives you an insight into to just how good a wildlife haven a golf course can be, and just how lucky we are to have such an abundance of wildlife on our Links Courses at Montrose.

Les Rae,
First Assistant,
Montrose Golf Links Limited.