Introducing the Loch of the Lowes Species Protection Team

Osprey watch season 2019 is well under way! We’ve had an early start to the season with two eggs laid by the 7th of April, hopefully with more on the way. We have high hopes that this will be another great season for these ospreys and really hope to see some chicks hatch around mid-May.

2019 Species Protection Team © Scottish Wildlife Trust
2019 Species Protection Team © Scottish Wildlife Trust

This year’s Species Protection Officers; Andy, Jane, Johnny and Nick (supported by Perthshire Ranger, Raz) join the Visitor Centre staff and brilliant local volunteers in monitoring the ospreys 24 hours a day.

Andy Before arriving at Loch of the Lowes for Osprey season, I’ve spent the past year working with Natural England at the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve in Yorkshire, focusing on habitat management for the wetland wildlife at the site as well as conducting surveys and assisting in bird ringing. I’ve also spent a great deal of time exploring Scotland, particularly hiking, kayaking and wildlife watching along the west coast.

Jane I first came to Loch of the Lowes two years ago for Osprey watch and had such a great time that I stayed on as an Assistant Ranger over the summer. It was a fantastic season that included sightings of baby beavers, tawny owls, barn owls, great crested grebes, pine martens and the successful fledging of two osprey chicks. My favourite moment from Osprey Watch was LM12 feeding LF15 as she incubated young chicks. Since then I have completed my MSc with a research project focusing on reproductive success in House Sparrows.

Sunrise at Loch of the Lowes © Johnny Rolt
Sunrise at Loch of the Lowes © Johnny Rolt

Johnny I decided to work in wildlife conservation whilst reading Zoology at Newcastle University. Following my academic studies, I partook in a placement with Iceland’s Forest service and after that, a research trip to the Ardnamurchan peninsula in the north-west of Scotland, with the latter expedition focusing on reintroduced and recovering species. Following this, I applied for the SPO position at Loch of the Lowes. I was elated to be offered the role and cannot wait to assist the fantastic team already established at this awe-inspiring location.

Nick Before I joined the team at Loch of the Lowes I spent the past year in Inverness, working with the RSPB assisting the Warden for the Central Highlands. The internship also gave me a chance to work alongside the fab Osprey team at Loch Garten. Watching EJ and engaging with the public about ospreys inspired me to join the team at Loch of the Lowes and contribute to conservation efforts of this gorgeous raptor. Before this, I spent a 7-month stint working with the Scottish Wildlife Trust where I had the opportunity to carry out beaver surveys. This really motivated me to become more involved with the beaver reintroduction, a real landmark in wildlife conservation in Scotland.

Local Osprey Watch Volunteers © Scottish Wildlife Trust
Local Osprey Watch Volunteers © Scottish Wildlife Trust

Along with the 50+ local volunteers we are excited to see what the coming months bring, in this our 50th year of managing the reserve and observing breeding osprey at Loch of the Lowes.

The Species Protection Team

Preface

Osprey watch season 2019 is well under way! We’ve had an early start to the season with two eggs laid by the 7th of April, hopefully with more on the …

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