This week saw the real beginning of our Osprey year with our traditional pre-season Volunteers Meeting here at Loch of the Lowes. It is a great chance for all the hard working volunteers who help with the 24hr nest protection watch to get together and prepare for what will hopefully another successful breeding season for our resident birds. We also shared updates on the latest in Osprey research and science, satellite tracking studies and behaviour from around the world.
We are ready and all fired up for the task ahead with a wonderful team of four Species Protection Officers and many volunteers in place- the official Osprey Watch rota is now open! It’s not too late to get involved this year though: if you fancy taking part in this vital task, please contact Emma Rawling the Perthshire Ranger on email@example.com or 01350 727337.
Why do we still do a 24hr nest protection watch?
Egg thieves are still a real risk, and Ospreys a very real target: One UK man was convicted late in 2011 of stealing 700 eggs , including eight Osprey eggs, and has been given an ASBO banning him from Scotland in the breeding season since his jail sentence.
Our very high profile at Loch of the Lowes makes this a very desirable target for eggs thieves. We have had several incidents here in the past and must keep up our guard.
Technology such as cameras etc is making things easier for us- and them- but there is no substitute for human observation and skill in protecting birds and nests.
Newer risks: photographers and amateur wildlife filmmakers can be unaware or unscrupulous, and can cause untold damage to nesting birds by getting too close and causing the birds to abandon eggs and young chicks. There is a need to educate people about safe and legal distances from which to observe and enjoy wildlife.
We hope that the deterrent of our determined and professional nest protection team and our high tech equipment means that our Ospreys can continue to nest in peace for us all to enjoy!
Lastly can I mention a very special team of volunteers today who joined me at our Balnaguard Glen reserve, who planted 160 or so trees in between the snow showers!Thankyou for your hard work!