Believe it or not, it could be just two short months now until our ospreys return from their southern wintering grounds- just eight weeks in which to get prepared for another rollercoaster Osprey breeding season here at Loch of the Lowes. The earliest our female bird has ever returned is the 20th March so we aim to have everything ready by mid March, so we will be raring to go!
Preparations are well underway here, with recruitment for Species Protection Officers in hand and a big overhaul of our Osprey information pack and FAQ section on the website by the ranger (with some fantastic volunteer help) well underway. The Osprey nest camera servicing and tree maintenance is also planned for early February, to ensure everything is in place and functional before the birds return.
We will be holding our annual Volunteers Pre-Season meeting on Monday the 5th March, at which we will be discussing the latest Osprey news and research, and planning our 24hr Nest protection watch rota. If you have volunteered for Osprey Watch here before, you will be receiving an invitation very shortly, if you have not had one already.
If you are interested in finding out more, or have even fancied joining in as a volunteer with the Osprey watch, please get in touch with us here, or come along to our:
New Volunteer Open Day
Saturday the 3rd March
10-4 pm at Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre, Dunkeld
Free entry to prospective volunteers. Just drop in for an informal chat to find out about:
- Volunteering in the Visitors Centre and with the education programme
- Helping with the famous Osprey Nest Protection Watch in the spring
- Getting your hands dirty doing conservation volunteering with the ranger on your five local reserves.
There will be lots of staff and experienced volunteers on hand to help you and answer all of your questions, and if you are interested, you can sign up on the day. There will be training sessions and a welcome meeting in March.
For more information call Loch of the Lowes on 01350 727337
By the way, we hope you like the new look of the Loch of the Lowes bird feeding station area , some of which is visible on the webcam. We have installed some matting around the hanging feeders to enable the ground to be kept clean and disease free. We have also created a brushwood shelter belt for the smaller birds to hide in, especially when the Sparrowhawk flies past! We have added some fat block feeders too, to help our birds in harder winter weather. We have also put up some more natural poles for squirrels and peanut butter feeding holes in stumps to attract Treecreepers etc. To get the full effect of all these changes you will have to come and admire the view from our Loch of the Lowes window yourselves- but a warning: it is very addictive!