Greetings to all osprey blog followers! We are two of the full-time Residential Volunteers this summer here at Loch of the Lowes. We wanted to explain a little about what we do here, and the other Scottish Wildlife Trust Perthshire reserves, and what it means to be a Residential Volunteer for the Trust.
I have been a residential volunteer here for two months now and have experienced many exciting wildlife moments, learnt a great deal and had the chance to take part in so many different types of work. I don’t want to gush too much, but I am so grateful to everyone here, staff and volunteers alike – all in their own way have contributed to making this experience absolutely fantastic. No amount of thank you cards or chocolate cakes can say it guys, THANK YOU!!
Osprey watch has had its ups and downs. I was on shift when the male flew off – leaving the eggs exposed for over an hour. This was stressful and I couldn’t help feeling bad and wishing I could have done something. After that, when the first egg hadn’t hatched and it was looking unlikely for the second, there was a general feeling of low morale at the centre, but not without hope. You’ll see from a previous blog post that I was also on shift to spot the first signs of hatching and was able to share in the excitement with Val, and call round staff and volunteers to let them know. I felt afterwards that this made up for having to relay the bad news of the male being off for an hour some weeks before.
The arrival of Rachel has brought some fresh energy to the place, and we’re all looking ahead to a great summer season.
I am the current Residential Volunteer Assistant Ranger, and my job is to assist Emma, the Ranger, with all conservation jobs around our reserves! As well as Loch of the Lowes, the Scottish Wildlife Trust look after 4 other reserves across Perthshire – ranging from wild flower meadows in Keltneyburn to wild juniper moorland at Balnaguard Glen.
We have already been bracken bashing at Balnaguard Glen, counting gull colonies at Tomdachoille Island, and pulling out Himalayan Balsam at Ballinluig Island. Exciting stuff!
Being a full-time Residential Volunteer means that I get amazing hands-on experience whilst being surrounded by enthusiastic, knowledgeable people. We also get to live on site in the volunteer bothy, with only deer, beavers and otters for neighbours – wonderful!
I’m looking forward to meeting the new volunteers who will be arriving next week, and I’m ready for a jam-packed summer of hard (but very fun!) work.
by Rebecca Dunn and Rachel Butterworth
And lastly a brief update on Blue YD’s Senegalese adventure. He is still at La Langue de Barbarie National Park. He has acquired a routine of roosting in the same spots for the past two weeks as well as hunting in the strip of water in between Senegal’s mainland and the park’s sandy peninsula. Looking at the pictures of the area, who could blame him?
Species Protection Officer