September sign off

Around the Loch this week we have been watching the juvenile Great crested grebes growing rapidly and pretty much looking after themselves. One pair of adults are still feeding a young bird who must have been a late addition to the population – it has been a very successful season for the grebes with an estimated 10 fledged birds this year, compared to only 4 in 2010.

We were treated to the amazing sight of 4 Red kites circling over the Loch mid-week; these birds are increasing in numbers in this part of Scotland thanks to a reintroduction programme initiated in recent years.

On the water this week there was one pair of Wigeon, a solitary Coot, Tufted duck, Canada geese, Mute swans, Grey heron and of course, the Mallard ducks.

As the winter season approaches we can expect to see the migrant wildfowl arrive, so eyes to the skies for the Pink feet & Greylag geese, and Whooper swans.

From the visitor centre window the squirrels can be seen scurrying around making their winter food caches.

Regular visitors to feeders this week were: coal tits, blue tits, great tits and chaffinches.  Robins are also making regular appearances and with a little effort, you can spot a tiny wren. If you are patient enough, you will also be treated to the sight of a treecreeper or a great spotted woodpecker.

I have been the temporary Perthshire Ranger at Lowes this season after Anna was asked to stand in at Montrose Basin, she has now been given this post on a permanent contract and well deserved; well done Anna.

Loch of the Lowes welcomes back Emma as Perthshire Ranger next month on a permanent basis and I am sure she will have great things planned.

We have had an international feel around the centre this last month with Bostjan travelling from Slovenia to volunteer with the Perthshire reserves conservation team. He is now heading to Knapdale to assist with the Scottish Beaver Trial; we all wish him well.

So to my thank yous… big thanks go to the Scottish Wildlife Trust for giving me this opportunity; I’ve enjoyed every minute and learned so much. Thanks also to all the volunteers for their help throughout the season; we really couldn’t do it without you. Also to all the readers who care about our environment….keep up the good work!

Douglas Thomson

2011 Temporary Perthshire Ranger

Preface

Around the Loch this week we have been watching the juvenile Great crested grebes growing rapidly and pretty much looking after themselves. One pair of adults are still feeding a …

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