A day of sunshine and sudden thunderstorms here at Loch of the Lowes today, but our Ospreys seem unperturbed. The chick Blue YZ has been doing lots of short flights from the nest, perfecting her landing technique but still a bit of a tendency to overshoot the nest and hit the branch instead alas. The male osprey was seen fishing (unsuccessfully) right in front of the hides today around 11.30am, and finally brought in a fish to the nest just before 5pm.
Elsewhere on our local reserves, the Ranger team ( Emma and her trusty residential volunteers Sarah and Rachel) and several local volunteers, were working today on out Tummel Shingle Island reserve, when they got caught in a huge thunderstorm, complete with lightning overhead and pea sized hail! To say we looked like drowned rats afterwards is an understatement! Thank you to all the volunteers who helped today with the important task of removing Himalayan Balsam (an invasive weed) from the lovely wetland habitat. This plant is becoming very common along UK waterways and spreads fast, smothering all our native vegetation, including all the specialist wildflowers that love our wetlands. If you have it near you- remove it before it flowers (it is easily pulled up) and help protect our waterways and their wildlife.
In addition this week, the ranger team have been saving Juniper trees (one of Scotland’s only native conifers and under threat) at our Balnaguard Glen reserve– trudging up the hills to spend the day, sickle in hand, cutting smothering bracken back from the trees.
We have also been removing bracken at our Keltneyburn meadow reserve, to allow the rare and beautiful orchids room to flower, and doing botanical and butterfly counts here to ensure our management is helping the rare plants survive and spread here.
If you would like to know more about any of our other Perthshire reserves, or the other 120 in Scotland, please see:
On top of all this we’ve been running family and children’s events at the Loch of the Lowes- the next one is our Wildlife Spy Events on 2nd and 3rd August, 1-3pm. Not to mention doing public information enquires and media interview this week, and of course this daily blog-there is never a dull moment in a ranger’s week! I could not do it all without the fantastic help of my volunteers– so a BIG Thank you to them all.