Blogs from peter http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/blogger/listings/peter Sat, 06 Jun 2020 05:31:26 +0000 HPL en-gb Good End To The Week http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-end-to-the-week-15 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-end-to-the-week-15 Another low water day at the Dam but with plenty of fish about there's still good sport to be had: Neill Sproull persevered and was rewarded with a 9lber on the fly from Pitlochry bank this afternoon. The forecast looks to be more of the same for the foreseeable future – prospects remain good.

Neill Sproull enjoys success on Pitlochry bank this afternoon

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 22 Apr 2017 16:59:00 +0000
Good Fishing At Dam http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-fishing-at-dam http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-fishing-at-dam Low water is making for testing conditions at the moment but John Simpson was equal to the task landing a fish of 8lbs on the fly on Pitlochry bank this morning and Danny Docherty followed up with a fish of 9lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank in the afternoon – it can be done. Perseverance seems to be the key at the moment but with good numbers of fish in the beat there’s always a chance – room for optimism.

Success - Danny Docherty on Pitlochry bank this afternoon

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:41:00 +0000
Excellent Start To The Week http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/excellent-start-to-the-week-4 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/excellent-start-to-the-week-4 The river dropped back over the weekend but there were lots of fresh fish about and with three caught it was an excellent start to the week: Ally Gowans landed two in quick succession at around 7lbs on Port-na-Craig bank this morning on the fly; and not long after Neil Tong had a fish of 16lbs on Pitlochry bank – again on the fly. With good numbers of fresh fish coming into the beat at the moment prospects look good for the rest of the week.


Almost there - Ally Gowans brings in the first of two fish on Port-na-Craig bank today

Neil Tong with 16lber on Pitlochry bank this morning








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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 17 Apr 2017 17:19:00 +0000
Dam Continues To Fish Well http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-continues-to-fish-well-1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-continues-to-fish-well-1 peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 14 Apr 2017 19:05:00 +0000 Good Catches http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-catches-3 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-catches-3 With the wind easing conditions were more favourable today and with three fish caught it was another excellent day at the Dam: Thomas Andrew was first into action with a fish of 19lbs caught on the fly on Pitlochry bank mid-morning; soon after Jim Fisher then landed a 17lber on the fly on Port-na-Craig bank; and just before changeover Dean McGowan caught a fish of 11lbs on the fly on Pitlochry bank. Lots of quality fish about at the moment and with the settled conditions forecast to continue prospects look good for the weekend.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 13 Apr 2017 19:18:00 +0000 Ticking Over http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/ticking-over-18 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/ticking-over-18 With a strong westerly breeze for much of the day it was another testing day at the Dam. Perseverance was the key and Iain McLaren was rewarded with a fish of 8lbs caught on the fly late in the afternoon on Pitlochry bank. The wind is forecast to ease for tomorrow so hopefully a better day – and a few more fish.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 12 Apr 2017 17:25:00 +0000 Fishing Well http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fishing-well-15 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fishing-well-15 A stiff downstream breeze made things awkward today but with another two caught on PAC waters the fishing remains good: at the Dam Callum Imray landed a superb fish of 20lbs this morning on Pitlochry bank on the spinner; and the good fishing at Sawmill continues with Andrew Khakoo landing a fresh fish of 6lbs this morning on the fly. Still plenty of fish about and looking promising for tomorrow.

Callum Imray with superb 20lbs fish on Pitlochry bank today



Andrew Khakoo successful on Sawmill this morning
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:04:00 +0000
Great Start To The Week http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/great-start-to-the-week-1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/great-start-to-the-week-1 Conditions looked good this morning and sure enough it was a great start to the week with five fish caught: Tony Brown had a day to remember with a hat-trick – fish at 15, 13 and 8lbs – all from Pitlochry bank this morning on the fly; Allan Young was next with a fish of 8lbs caught on the fly Pitlochry bank in the afternoon; while down on Sawmill Jim Fisher landed a fish of 12lbs on the fly this morning. Plenty of fish about and with settled conditions set to continue there’s every reason to be optimistic for the rest of the week.

Tony Brown on his way to a hat-trick - 15lber from Pitlochry bank this morning

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 10 Apr 2017 17:32:00 +0000
Good End To The Week http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-end-to-the-week-14 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-end-to-the-week-14 With lots of fish showing it was looking promising first thing this morning. They proved hard to tempt, though, and despite best efforts only one was caught: Neil Tong was the successful angler with a fish of about 8lbs caught this morning on a floating devon. Not a bad week with some superb fish landed. Prospects look good for next week. ]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 08 Apr 2017 19:57:00 +0000 Sawmill Success http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sawmill-success-10 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sawmill-success-10 The river remains steady at a good height but the fish weren't in the mood on our Dam beat today. Downstream on Sawmill, though, Paul Carter was successful, landing a superb fish of 14lbs on the fly this morning  - the quality of the fish being caught at the moment is excellent. Hopefully a few more tomorrow.
Success - Paul Carter on Sawmill this morning
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:34:00 +0000
Good Fishing Continues http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-fishing-continues-5 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/good-fishing-continues-5
Ally Gowans' fish on Sawmill today



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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 07 Apr 2017 04:20:00 +0000
Late Fish http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/late-fish http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/late-fish
Jim Fisher in action on Pitlochry bank this evening

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 04 Apr 2017 19:40:00 +0000
More Like It! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/more-like-it http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/more-like-it Lots of fish were showing thoughout the beat today and with three caught it was a great start to the week: Alistair Hamilton was first into action with a very nice fish of 18lbs on the fly from Pitlochry bank this morning; on Port-na-Craig bank Alan Greene caught a fish of 8lbs on the fly later in the morning; and Oliver Falk - on his first visit to the Tummel - rounded things off nicely with a fish of 17lbs from Pitlochry bank in the afternoon – again caught on the fly. Hopefully a few more to come this week.

Alistair Hamilton with 18lber on Pitlochry bank this morning


Alan Greene successful on Port-na-Craig bank
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:21:00 +0000
Salmon now making their way up Pitlochry fish ladder http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/salmon-now-making-their-way-up-pitlochry-fish-ladder http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/salmon-now-making-their-way-up-pitlochry-fish-ladder With the rise in water temperature and a drop in water height over the last few days making it easier for salmon to find the entrance to the salmon ladder and ascend it, salmon are now starting to make their way up the Pitlochry fish ladder just above our Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat. The counter has gone from 0 to 7 in the last 24 hours and salmon can now be glimpsed in some of the pools in the ladder to the delight of those visiting the ladder this morning. This is about the same date as last year - the first salmon counted in recent years were on 2 April 2016, 29 March 2015, 3 April 2014, 20 April 2013, 19 March 2012 and 31 March 2011. Throughout the season, we will tweet frequent updates on the count along with river temperatures on https://twitter.com/pitlochryac. There is also a link to the twitter feed on the main news blog page. Many people register as followers of the twitter feed so that all the updates are sent direct to them on their mobiles and computers.

Counter display 2/4/17 1145

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 02 Apr 2017 11:22:00 +0000
Port-na-Craig success http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/port-na-craig-success http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/port-na-craig-success Steve with his salmon.Congratulations to Steve Dora from Edinburgh. He arrived at the water last, this was his first outing of 2017 and on his first run down the Green Bank he met with a nice fish conservatively estimated at 12lbs which took a size 8 Cascade. Not an easy average to keep up!]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 30 Mar 2017 15:44:00 +0000 SUCCESS ON THE SAWMILL http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/success-on-the-sawmill http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/success-on-the-sawmill So far this week, things have been slow on Portnacraig Pitlochry beat, although a salmon was lost on Monday following the line getting snagged around a rock. Yesterday afternoon Steve Watt landed a lovely spring salmon of about 10 pounds whilst spinning on the members' Sawmill Beat just downstream of Portnacraig Pitlochry beat.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 29 Mar 2017 18:14:00 +0000 Atholl Estate fishing available for 2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/atholl-estate-fishing-available-for-2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/atholl-estate-fishing-available-for-2017 Lower TummelDetails of fishing available direct from Atholl Estate have been added to the Home Page of our website under Tummel Garry Fishing Links to help support and promote the Tummel Garry Protection Order in association with other Liaison Committee members. The list of Atholl fishing can be downloaded here. ]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 28 Mar 2017 19:47:00 +0000 Rannoch and Tummel fishing information for 2017. http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/rannoch-and-tummel-fishing-information-for-2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/rannoch-and-tummel-fishing-information-for-2017 Loch Ericht - just one of the many lovely places to fish around Rannoch.Kinloch Rannoch and Tummel, Perthshire, Scotland - a haven of Scottish native wildlife and unspoilt landscape of mountains, lochs and heather covered hills where walking is pure pleasure. Lots for fishing available for trout, pike and perch.

Fishing information sheet for Rannoch and Tummel in Highland Perthshire. ]]>
peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 25 Mar 2017 10:50:00 +0000
Sawmill Sea-Licer http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sawmill-sea-licer-1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sawmill-sea-licer-1 The river rose slightly overnight and with nothing caught by lunchtime and few fish showing things weren’t looking too promising at the Dam. Further down on our Sawmill beat, though, it was a different story; Ally Gowans had a quick run through and was rewarded with a superb sea-liced fish of 9lbs caught on the fly at the BP burn. With the river set to drop back it’s looking good for a few more tomorrow.

Safely released - Ally Gowans returns a 9 lb fish on Sawmill

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 24 Mar 2017 19:36:00 +0000
TAY SALMON FISHERIES BOARD ANNUAL OPEN MEETING - THIS THURSDAY EVENING http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tay-salmon-fisheries-board-annual-open-meeting-this-thursday-evening http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tay-salmon-fisheries-board-annual-open-meeting-this-thursday-evening
The Tay Salmon Fisheries Board annual open meeting is this Thursday evening at 7pm at the Birnam Institute, Birnam. There will be detailed presentations about all the varied work the Board has been doing recently and the meeting will provide a good opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have. All are welcome and it is always a very interesting and informative evening.


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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 20 Mar 2017 23:34:00 +0000
Dam Looking Good http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-looking-good http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-looking-good The heavy rain that was forecast didn’t really come to much today and fishing conditions were just about perfect at the Dam. Saul Mackay was quick to make the most of it with a good fish of 12lbs caught on the fly on his first run down Port-na-Craig bank this morning. With fish now showing regularly and the river at a good height prospects look good.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 17 Mar 2017 18:55:00 +0000 Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory Open Day http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/freshwater-fisheries-laboratory-open-day http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/freshwater-fisheries-laboratory-open-day The Freshwater Fisheries Laboratory are hosting a "Science Open Day" on May 13th at the Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry. Tickets are free and can be booked online.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 16 Mar 2017 14:25:00 +0000 Dam Success http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-success-3 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-success-3 The past week has been a frustrating one – conditions looking good with fish showing but none willing to take. Today we had some success, though, with Paul Kelly landing a 9lb fish on the spinner from Pitlochry bank this morning. The river is dropping back nicely and hopefully there will be more caught this week.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 14 Mar 2017 19:01:00 +0000 First Fish Off Sawmill - a 22lber! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/first-fish-off-sawmill-a-22lber http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/first-fish-off-sawmill-a-22lber All of the action so far this year has been on your Dam beat but yesterday the Sawmill was the place to be: Martin Timmins was the successful angler catching an outstanding fish of 22lbs on a Vision 110 in the afternoon in the pool below the layby. Those of you who know this pool will realise that this is not the easiest place to land a fish but by good fortune Innes Smith had left a net this morning which Martin was able to use – I think you may owe Innes a pint! Great to see fish of this quality – and looking good for next week.


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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 05 Mar 2017 13:08:00 +0000
Dam Picking Up http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-picking-up http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-picking-up With fish now starting to show regularly on our Dam beat - and a couple of fish lost close to the bank already this week - hopes of success were high on the river this morning.  Saul Mackay didn’t disappoint – landing a very nice fish of 12lbs on the fly from Port-na-Craig bank this morning. Things should really start to pick up now and with the river settled at a good height prospects for the weekend look excellent.

Saul Mackay on Port-na-craig bank this morning

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:21:00 +0000
Open Night - Scotland’s Hotel on Wednesday March 8th at 19:30 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/open-night-scotland-s-hotel-on-wednesday-march-8th-at-19-30 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/open-night-scotland-s-hotel-on-wednesday-march-8th-at-19-30 Dr David Summers TDSFBdAs usual our open night is open to anyone with an interest in fish or fishing and new faces are always very welcome. This year's guest speaker is Dr David Summers, Fisheries Director, Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board. David has nearly 30 years experience in the field of salmon and freshwater fisheries research and management. He initially studied with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland at their North Esk research station at Montrose, then spent six years working in the south of England for the Game Conservancy Trust's fisheries team. He then became the manager of the Tay District Salmon Fisheries Board in 1999 and continues to lead the team protecting and improving the Tay's salmon fisheries. His presentation will feature some historical background to the de-watering of the River Garry system and discuss the implications of the recent agreement with SSE to restore the water.

A raffle will be held to support SANDS the Stillborn and Neonatal Death Charity. Donations or raffle prizes are invited, please contact us by phone or email if you can help to raise monies for this valuable cause.


Free refreshments, we look forward to seeing you there!
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 21 Feb 2017 22:12:00 +0000
February Sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/february-sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/february-sightings February brought in mild weather, with the occasional dusting of snow. This has made our feeding station a popular spot with many of the usual birds.

Snow on

Loch of the Lowes © Chris Cachia Zammit

Two greenfinches were spotted in the feeding station, a bird that has become rare in the area due to repeated outbreaks of trichomonosis. Two flocks of yellowhammers made an appearance at the feeding station on the 5th and 10th. What a sight! The sparrowhawk was very active on the 5th, swooping after the small birds in the feeding station. Our local red squirrels continue to be regular visitors to the feeding station, feeding on peanuts.

A juvenile peregrine falcon was spotted perched high on a dead tree, feathers fluttering in the chilly breeze from the hide. Goldeneye were observed doing their courtship display on the loch so it seems that spring is in the air for them at least!

Two cormorants have taken up residence and were spotted fishing. Coots and moorhens were also present; interestingly two of the coots seemed to be hanging around with the wigeon. Perhaps they were suffering from an identity crisis!

Cormorant ©  Chris Cachia Zammit

Cormorant © Chris Cachia Zammit

At least two great crested grebes were spotted – the first for months, and a little grebe was seen on the 8th.

Chris Cachia Zammit 

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:56:37 +0000
First Fish Of The Season! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/first-fish-of-the-season-3 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/first-fish-of-the-season-3 A few fresh fish have been seen on our beats over the last couple of weeks but so far the fishing effort has been very light – even though our first fish of the season usually comes about this time in the month. Steve Watt ventured out today, though, and was rewarded with the first fish of the season - a very nice fish of 13lbs on the fly – and followed up with a fish of 16lbs on the devon – both from Port-na-Craig bank this afternoon. Steve wins the Mitchell trophy for the first fly caught salmon of the season by a member on club waters – well done! The river remains at an excellent height – surely not too long before a second comes to the net.

Steve Watt with the first fish of the season - a superb 13lber

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 09 Feb 2017 20:23:00 +0000
Yellow Hammers Brighten a Rainy Day! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/yellow-hammers-brighten-a-rainy-day http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/yellow-hammers-brighten-a-rainy-day It’s a grey, chilly day here today. Low cloud shrouding the surrounding hills darkening the sky, while rain showers fall onto soaked grass, splashing where puddles fill hollows. There’s a Scottish word to describe this kind of day: dreich.

Despite the weather, the red squirrels, chaffinches, great, coal and blue tits are busily stocking up on energy in our feeding station. There were a few moments of panic among the small birds as they fled for cover when a sparrowhawk swooped in and perched for several seconds beside the feeders, After surveying the still, empty scene, the sparrowhawk took to the wing again and sped off towards the loch, expertly weaving between branches, before gaining even more speed over the open water to hunt further along the reserve.

Happily, the woodland birds soon returned and we were treated to a rare sight: 13 brilliantly coloured yellowhammers flew in as a flock. A welcome, sunny spectacle to brighten the day.

Yellowhammer © Chris Cachia Zammit

Yellowhammer © Chris Cachia Zammit

Whether rain, shine, snow or frost, the feeding station is always a hive of activity.

Snowdrops are flowering and other signs of Spring are appearing all around us. Have you seen snowdrops yet? Will we have more snow before the winter’s out? Will there be ice on the loch when the ospreys return this year? It won’t long, Osprey season starts next month when everyone’s eyes are to the skies to see what the year will bring!

We are open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until the end of the month and then, from 1st March, we’ll be open 7 days a week.

Cherry

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 05 Feb 2017 15:12:16 +0000
NEW VISITOR CENTRE AT PITLOCHRY DAM NOW OPEN http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/new-visitor-centre-at-pitlochry-dam-now-open http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/new-visitor-centre-at-pitlochry-dam-now-open The new SSE Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre opened on Monday. It is immediately downstream of the Dam on the Pitlochry bank. Entry is free of charge and there are good displays about Pitlochry Dam, its history and hydro more widely, and a shop, café and good views of the Dam. The intention is that it will be open all year round seven days a week. It will provide another good option for anglers fishing Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat who would like to take a break from fishing during their day.

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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 04 Feb 2017 11:36:00 +0000
Importance of Loch of the Lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/importance-of-loch-of-the-lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/importance-of-loch-of-the-lowes Today is World Wetlands DayWorld Wetlands Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness of the international importance of all wetlands, from peat bogs to marsh lands, and highlighting the threats that they face.

Is-Simar Nature Reserve ©Nadja Tschovikov

Is-Simar Nature Reserve ©Nadja Tschovikov

Wetlands are a magnet to a variety of wildlife, from insects to mammals. Along many bird migration routes they provide safe havens for birds to rest and refuel before continuing their long journeys. Examples include such places as Ghadira and Is-Simar Nature Reserves – two wetland reserves on the island of Malta, managed by Birdlife Malta which are frequently used as a stopover for birds like spoonbills, grey herons, little egrets and other avian species.

 

Loch of the Lowes is also an important ecosystem that offers a refuge to a wide variety of wildlife. The loch is a SSSI (Sites of Special Scientific Interest), designated amongst other things for the presence of a small aquatic plant, slender naiad (Najas flexilis). The loch is one of the few remaining lochs in the UK where one can find this rare plant.

The loch is also home to beavers – an important species, which help to restore wetland areas and improve the biodiversity of the area.   At Loch of the Lowes we’ve seen the positive influences that beavers can have on woodlands. They help bring new life to older woodlands by felling trees that naturally coppice and regenerate, with this fresh growth providing food for others.

Beaver hiding at Loch of the Lowes © Charlotte Fleming

Beaver hiding at Loch of the Lowes © Charlotte Fleming

Loch of the Lowes is also well known for its variety of bird life and the first bird that comes to everyone’s mind is the osprey. Ospreys first re-appeared on the loch in 1969 and breed successfully in 1971.  One of the most famous ospreys in the UK, “Lady” called Loch of Lowes home for 24 years, from 1991-2014. She successfully raised 50 chicks during her life time. Apart from ospreys a number of other waterbird species breed on the loch, including great crested grebes and goosanders.

Great crested grebe and chicks ©Marion Moore

Great crested grebe and chicks ©Marion Moore

During autumn and winter, wildfowl such as goldeneye, tufted ducks, wigeon, pink-footed and greylag geese roost and feed on the loch. Large numbers of black-headed and common gulls also use the loch as an overnight roost. Whooper swans use the loch as a stopover before continuing their journey.

The loch also has a healthy population of perch and pike, providing the ospreys with a regular food source during the summer months.

Successful fishing by Lowes male osprey and very surprised Canada Goose! Photo copyright Lisa Waters

Successful fishing by Lowes male osprey and very surprised Canada Goose! © Lisa Waters

Scottish Wildlife Trust is working in partnership with SNH (Scottish Natural Heritage), SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) and our neighbours to protect this important wetland ecosystem. Loch of the Lowes is a low nutrient environment, which can be adversely affected by nutrient runoff from surrounding farmland. We work closely with surrounding landowners to minimise nutrient runoff into the loch and carry out monthly water samples to monitor changes in nutrient levels.

Chris Cachia Zammit 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 02 Feb 2017 13:01:01 +0000
January Sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/january-sightings-1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/january-sightings-1

The mild weather continued to persist into mid-January and then temperatures dropped. This has brought in a big number of chaffinches to the feeding station, with a peak count of 50+.  Yellowhammers are still making a presence, with the highest number being 4.

Winter scene

Winter scene © Chris Cachia Zammit

On the 20th, two bramblings where spotted feeding among the chaffinches and they were very obliging to the visitors watching the feeding station. An ermine stoat was spotted from the feeding station viewing window, climbing up and down trees, what a sighting! Other birds spotted were; blackbirds, dunnocks, blue tits and great tits and the local great spotted woodpeckers.  

Our local red squirrels continue to be regular visitors to the feeding station, feeding on peanuts.

On the 27th a male smew was spotted on the loch. What a bonnie bird!

 Chris Cachia Zammit 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 30 Jan 2017 12:16:51 +0000
Beavers want your vote!! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/beavers-want-your-vote http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/beavers-want-your-vote Please vote beaver! We’re delighted that the successful reintroduction of European beavers to Scotland has been nominated for Wildlife Success of the Year in the 2017 BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

Voting is open until Tuesday 28 February.

beaver tile

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:24:48 +0000
Come and volunteer at Loch of the Lowes! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/come-and-volunteer-at-loch-of-the-lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/come-and-volunteer-at-loch-of-the-lowes Are you looking to do something totally different and highly rewarding this year? How about volunteering for Scotland’s largest charity dedicated to protecting our incredible native wildlife?

There are lots of opportunities to volunteer with the Scottish Wildlife Trust wherever you are in the country and Loch of the Lowes is no exception to that.

We have a number of different volunteering roles for you to choose from depending on your particular skills, experience and interests.

Do you enjoy talking to people and sharing your enthusiasm for wildlife? Are you a born sales person, who is good with numbers and has a keen eye for presentation? If you answered yes to either of these questions then Visitor Centre volunteering could be for you! Come and help us man our four-star rated visitor centre and gift shop.

Loch of the Lowes gift shop ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Loch of the Lowes gift shop ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Alternatively, are you more of an outdoorsy person? An experienced wildlife watcher; confident with using telescopes and binoculars and able to interpret animal behaviour? If so perhaps you would enjoy being an Osprey Watch volunteer or one of our Guides in the Hide? Our 24 hour Osprey nest protection watch runs during April and May each year, with “Guides in the Hides” provided year-round.

Team Osprey Watch ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Team Osprey Watch ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Or maybe a hard day’s physical work is what really appeals to you? Getting stuck in, removing non-native plant species and making a practical contribution to nature conservation? Coupled with the opportunity to gain wildlife survey skills and an understanding of nature reserve management? If this sounds more like your thing then consider becoming a Reserve Conservation Volunteer.

Conservation volunteers carrying out survey work at Balnaguard Glen ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Conservation volunteers carrying out survey work at Balnaguard Glen ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Volunteering can be a great way to meet people, utilise and build upon your existing skills and experience, make a positive contribution to society and the environment, and most importantly have fun at the same time!

But don’t just take my word for it – here are a few comments that current volunteers have made about what they’ve gained from their volunteering experience :

“The satisfaction of meeting people with similar interests to my own.”  George (Visitor Centre Volunteer)

“A chance to use my skills, knowledge and enjoyment of Nature within a knowledgeable and enthusiastic team.”  Brian (Guide in the hide and Osprey Watch Volunteer)

“It’s a great way of learning about what is all around us!”  Yvonne (Osprey Watch and Reserve Conservation Volunteer)

If you want find out more about volunteering at Loch of the Lowes send an email to lochofthelowes@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk or call in to the visitor centre and have a chat with one of our staff members.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:41:11 +0000
OPENING DAY ON PORTNACRAIG PITLOCHRY BEAT http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/opening-day-on-portnacraig-pitlochry-beat http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/opening-day-on-portnacraig-pitlochry-beat
Club member Bob Crowther giving the toby a try on opening day
Although several club members fished in good conditions on opening day with both fly and spinner, no salmon were caught.
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:36:00 +0000
TAY OPENING - VERY WELCOME ANNOUNCEMENT RE RIVER GARRY http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tay-opening-very-welcome-announcement-re-river-garry http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tay-opening-very-welcome-announcement-re-river-garry
Jim Smith of SSE, with Claire Mercer Nairne and Calum McRoberts, the ghillie,
heading out in the boat to make the first cast at the opening ceremony at Meikleour
The guest of honour at yesterday's opening ceremony at Meikleour was SSE’s Managing Director of Generation Jim Smith.  Mr Smith made the very welcome announcement that SSE will shortly commence engineering work to restore flow to the highly abstracted upper River Garry. The Struan Weir at the foot of this stretch of river has just been breached to allow salmon to make use of the rewatered river. Although there is much still to be done, this is great news and Pitlochry Angling Club members and visitors will benefit from the increased salmon runs which will result. Mr Smith also gave the Tay a good tipple to bring luck in the coming season and made the first cast. Large numbers of people turned out both here and at the other main ceremony to watch and many also fished - two springers were caught at Meikleour.
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:28:00 +0000
First casts 2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/first-casts-2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/first-casts-2017 Green BankSteve Watt was the first person to fish our Portnacraig beat this season. Best wishes and tight lines to all our anglers!]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 16 Jan 2017 18:07:00 +0000 TAY SALMON SEASON OPENING DAY ARRANGEMENTS http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tay-salmon-season-opening-day-arrangements http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tay-salmon-season-opening-day-arrangements
Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat, yesterday, 14/1/17
Conditions are excellent on Portnacraig Pitlochry beat for the start of the salmon season tomorrow (Monday 16th January), with the snow on the hills slowly thawing and the river at a very nice height. The opening day is just for paid-up members who take turns if necessary with the tickets with up to three of us fishing on each bank at any time.
Our last opening day fish was a magnificent fresh run 21 pounder caught on fly in 2013 - the photo is still online at http://pitlochryanglingclub.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/opening-day-success.html. Something similar tomorrow would be great! The lucky member, Gordon Nichol, who caught the fish was awarded The MacTaggart Kenmore Trophy (see below) and an accompanying gallon of Dewar’s whisky for it at a Gala Dinner that evening at Kenmore Hotel!
The main opening day ceremonies tomorrow are beside the Kenmore Hotel and at Meikleour Fishings Boathouse by Kinclaven Bridge. People are very welcome to attend either event – full details are at http://kenmorehotel.com/salmon-openingand http://www.tdsfb.org/images/River%20Tay%202017%20Opening%20Poster.pdf. Both events are expected to be well-attended.  
Tight lines to everyone fishing anywhere on the Tay tomorrow! Entries for The MacTaggart Kenmore Trophy for landing and returning the biggest fish of the opening day from anywhere on the Tay system should be made immediately after capture to Kenmore Hotel 01887 830205 and with the support of any witness, a good photograph and measurements of the fishes length and its girth immediately in front of the dorsal fin.  
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:49:00 +0000
Pitlochry Dam salmon fishing permits for 2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/pitlochry-dam-salmon-fishing-permits-for-2017 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/pitlochry-dam-salmon-fishing-permits-for-2017

Visitor permits for Pitlochry Dam beat salmon fishing are available for booking online (17 January to 15 October). No Sundays.

3 rods per day on each bank (Portnacraig and Pitlochry) rotate beats at 12:00 noon.

Jan/Feb £20 - 17/01 to 28/02March £25 - 1/03 to 14/03March £35 - 15/03 to 21/03March £45 - 22/03 to 31/03April/May £60 - 1/04 to 31/05June £45 - 1/06 to 7/06June £35 - 8/06 to 30/06July £25 - 1/07 to 31/07Aug, Sept & October £20 - 1/08 to 14/10
Wishing our many visitors tight lines for 2017!
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 10 Jan 2017 09:33:00 +0000
January Sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/january-sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/january-sightings Hope you all having a good new year. The year at Loch of the Lowes started with very mild weather, this brought in a lot of activity in the feeding station, birds like chaffinches and coal tits are still high in numbers. Yellow Hammers are making a comeback, with a male frequently visiting the feeders almost on a daily bases. Tree creepers were spotted on the trees around the feeding station. A single long tailed tit was spotted feeding from the fat balls. Squirrels are also taking advantage of the mild weather and indulging in peanuts, with, so far, the highest number being three squirrels at one go.

On the loch, we had a big number of wigeon visiting and resting. A great crested grebe in winter plumage was spotted and two cormorants constantly fishing on the loch. Other birds spotted on the loch are tufted ducks, goldeneyes and resident swans.

Male Wigeon - ©Aron Tanti

Male Wigeon – ©Aron Tanti

 

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 08 Jan 2017 13:01:39 +0000
Highlights from 2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/highlights-from-2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/highlights-from-2016 As 2016 comes to an end, here are the highlights of the year

January, February

These two months saw us busily preparing activities for the events for the coming season.

March
In March we had two events, ‘Spring equinox – family fun’ day on the 19th and 20th and a successful beginner ID course about bird-watching taken by Scott Paterson.

There was great excitement on the 18th which saw the arrival of our female osprey (LF15). She set about cleaning and arranging the nest, and then the male (LM12) arrived on the 25th!

April
During this month we had two family fun days, ‘Awesome Ospreys’ and ‘Happy Hopping’, both well attended.

Also n April, LF15 laid her three eggs on the 12th, 15th and 18th. Both LM12 and LF15 took it in turns to incubate the eggs.

May
A dawn chorus walk was led by the ranger, and Alan Stewart came over to Lowes to talk about his long and distinguished career on the front line of tackling wildlife persecution.

This month we saw our three osprey chicks for the first time. First egg hatched on the 18th, second on the 20th and last one on the 23rd.

It wasn’t just the ospreys who were busy, the great crested grebes, built a nest among the water lilies within clear view from the hides.

Great Crested Grebe on the nest at Loch of the Lowes @ Chris Cachia Zammit

Great Crested Grebe on the nest at Loch of the Lowes @ Chris Cachia Zammit

June
In June we held two family fun days ; ‘Nuts about Squirrels’, for the activity, Ken Neil from Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrel, was talking about red squirrels…. and Wildlife at Midsummer, both activities were jam packed with children quizzes and trails.

July
This month, the topics ran from pollinators to wildcats. We were visited by Sandy the Squirrel for our ‘Nuts about the squirrel’ family day. Hebe Carus, from Scottish Wildcat Action group, gave a very interesting talk about Scotland’s most endangered mammal and what’s being done to save them from extinction.  To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter’s birth, Lindsey Gibb read the famous stories with lively enthusiasm.

The chicks started to fledge this month. First one (KP0) fledged on the 11th, KP1 on the 12th and after more ‘helicoptering’ KP2 fledged on the 16th.

On the loch, young great crested grebes were spotted with their parents protecting them.

Newly ringed chicks © Keith Brockie

Newly ringed chicks © Keith Brockie

 

Garry at Perth

Garry at Perth Museum

August
On a blazing hot day in August we set up a stall at Birnam Highland Games and had great fun with games like ‘Pin the tail on the squirrel’ and ‘build your nest’.

On another day Perth Museum ‘Go Wild’ activity with loads of colouring in, quizzes and games. This month, the ospreys started to depart on their migration. The first bird to leave was the female LF15, on the 13th, followed by the three chicks (KP0: 22th, KP1: 25th and KP2: 29th). After making sure that all the chicks left, the male set off (on the 30th) on his migration.

September

September marked the end of the osprey season, with thousands of visitors coming through the visitor centre doors, greeted by our friendly volunteers.

October
For October, we joined with the Birnam Arts Centre to hold a very interesting and well attended talk by Charlie Philips about the UK’s only resident population of bottlenose dolphins.  We also had a visit by Robert Law, from Mills Observatory in Dundee, talking about the night sky, followed by star-gazing on the reserve.

More and more wintering birds, mainly pink footed geese and greylags, were seen on the loch. A goldcrest was spotted peeking into the visitor center window, wondering why we are amazed!

November

© Chris Cachia Zammit Red Squirrel at Loch of the Lowes

Red Squirrel at Loch of the Lowes © Chris Cachia Zammit

We took a stall at Perth Market welcoming people and telling them as much as possible about Loch of the Lowes.

Rosanna Cunningham came to the centre for a meeting with Charlotte the Perthshire Ranger and Scottish Wildlife Trust CEO Jonny Hughes. Shortly afterwards we were delighted to receive the outcome of nearly 20 years of hard work – beavers are officially welcomed back as a native species.

 

November brought a good number of red squirrels into the feeding station, all collecting peanuts (and rob others) and stash them into their hidey holes under the leaves. These hidey holes make easy pickings for carrion crows and jays who keep an eye where the squirrels are hiding them.

December
We attended the famous Santa Day market down in Dunkeld. Sandy the Squirrel joined us for this activity and received loads of cuddles from children.

December started off with a male smew on the loch. The weather was mild, and this gave a great opportunity for birds and squirrels to stock up on food.

We would like to thank all the members, volunteers and visitors for their great support and now we’re looking forward to 2017!

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 31 Dec 2016 14:12:55 +0000
HIGH WATER AT PITLOCHRY DAM http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/high-water-at-pitlochry-dam http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/high-water-at-pitlochry-dam
The new Pitlochry Dam Visitor Centre (not yet open) overlooking high water at
Pitlochry Dam with the dam spilling 25/12/16, 1300 hrs
 
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 26 Dec 2016 02:14:00 +0000
Latvia’s Beavers http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/latvia-s-beavers http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/latvia-s-beavers You may remember that back in September I got the chance to go to Latvia and learn all about their culture and conservation practices. With the recent news of the success of the beaver reintroduction project and the Scottish Government’s decision to reclassify the species as a native species to Scotland, I thought I would share some of my knowledge that I learned in Latvia about their beavers.

Beavers in Scotland became extinct in the 16th Century while those in Latvia died out in the 1830’s, as the population of Eurasian beaver fell to as low as 1200 animals worldwide by the late 19th Century. This was a result of pressure from humans, such as hunting for its fur, as well as for its meat and oil. In Latvia they were first re-introduced in 1928 using beavers from Norway. In subsequent years the populations were bolstered by additional re-introductions in 1927 to 1952 and again from 1975 to 1984.Since then Latvian beavers have been very successful in re-establishing throughout Latvia, in both wild and urban areas.

Currently there are around 100,000 beavers found within Latvia. It is theorised that the current population increased due to large amounts of irrigation ditches and altered waterways. However we learned that there had been some conflict between landowners and beavers, especially in rural areas. This seemed to be remedied by allowing a quota of beavers to be hunted every year between August and April to help reduce numbers in areas of conflict.  Kits are usually born between April and June meaning that this hunting season would avoid the possibility of leaving young kits without parents when they don’t have the ability to fend for themselves. Strict regulations are in place in Latvia to monitor which species and the quantity of animals hunted. The small numbers of beavers hunted in Latvia have little impact on the overall population.

p1450213-1

Throughout the trip through Latvia we had seen signs of beaver activity, from their tooth marks on trees to walkways into the water and branches strewn across the river beaches. It wasn’t until the last night in Latvia that we encountered a beaver.

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Our last night was spent in Riga and whilst walking around the city, we found ourselves strolling along the edge of a stream within the city. Movement drew my eye to the water just as something dived. Fascinated, the whole group stood watching in the darkness, only to see a brown shape pull itself onto the bank. Lo and behold it was a beaver, right next to the city centre. It was not phased by passersby, dogs or even cyclists, only retreating down the slope by a few feet when passed by.

p1460276

Another beaver caught my eye entering a drainage tunnel nearby. We continued to walk along the river bank for a little way before coming across yet another beaver, this time swimming in a small pool. Seemingly unaffected by a passing rowing boat, or by the loud music played on one of the banks and a motorbike gang on the other. After watching this beaver for a while we saw some movement on a bank where a kit pulled itself out. Walking around to get a clearer view we spotted a cat, no less than 10 metres from the youngster. Our evening was finished by watching the kit nibbling the grass from less than a metre away.

 

p1460347-2

The only obvious measures we spotted to dissuade any unwanted beaver activity were tree guards, similar to those used for deer, albeit with a larger diameter. These guards appeared to be put in place to preserve tree cover within reach of the stream. This goes to show how amazingly adaptive animals beavers can be and their co-existence with humans is possible.

 

If you would like to read more on my trip to Latvia the group’s reports can be found here, http://archnetwork.org/category/reports/latvia-net-2016/

Melissa

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 19 Dec 2016 17:05:03 +0000
Update on FR3: 15th December 2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/update-on-fr3-15th-december-2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/update-on-fr3-15th-december-2016 Our young satellite tagged osprey from 2015, FR3, has been settled back into his “home territory” near Bulok in the Gambia for over two months now, having ventured eastwards towards Kassagne and the Bintang Bolon for a period from late July to October.

From the latest satellite data you can see that FR3’s movements are largely restricted to a core area of mangrove swamp to the north of Bulok.

FR3's activity between 5th and 11th December 2016

FR3’s activity between 5th and 11th December 2016

This has allowed winter human visitors to the Gambia to find and observe FR3 relatively easily, allowing for the challenges presented by the terrain and landscape in this area.

Most recently, our friend Chris Wood who volunteers on the Rutland Osprey Project, caught up with FR3 and provided the following brief account. It sounds as though FR3 has some unwanted company at the moment!

“…Great views of FR3 today albeit we were going to get closer after he caught a fish and took it to one of his favourite perches, but an intruding Osprey that he chased off about 10 mins earlier returned and after a lot of shouting and alarm calling he took off to chase it again.”

FR3 near Bulok - 10 December 2016 ©Chris Wood

FR3 near Bulok – 10 December 2016 © Chris Wood

FR3 in flight near Bulok - 10 December 2016 © Chris Wood

FR3 in flight near Bulok – 10 December 2016 © Chris Wood

If you’re wondering why there has been no mention of this year’s chicks, KP0, KP1 and KP2, that’s because they weren’t satellite tagged so we have no way of knowing how they are getting on. We hope of course that they are faring well and their darvic colour leg rings should allow them to be identified if they are sighted anywhere in the years to come.

We’ll bring you more news of FR3 as and when there are any developments.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 15 Dec 2016 11:10:51 +0000
December Sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/december-sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/december-sightings

December started off with a banga male smew in eclipse plumage, was spotted on the loch swimming close to the hide.  An exciting sighting indeed!

Chaffinches and coal tits are still visiting the feeding station in good numbers and feasting from the food provided in the feeding station. The mild weather has given the birds a window of opportunity to be better prepared for the cold.

It’s not just birds that are profiting from this window, even red squirrels are quickly taking advantage of the warmer weather and stocking up on peanuts.

On the loch there are still good numbers of widgeon, tufted duck and goldeneye. Flocks of pink-footed geese are still visiting the loch to rest. Tawny owls can be heard in the evenings hooting away in the woodland near the osprey nest. Signs of recent beaver activity have been spotted close to the hides.

Tufted Duck. © Chris Cachia Zammit

Tufted Duck. © Chris Cachia Zammit

Why not come and see for yourselves what’s around at the moment? The visitor centre is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.30am-4pm and the hides and woodland trail are accessible 24/7.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 13 Dec 2016 15:13:41 +0000
Buzz in the Visitor’s Centre http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/buzz-in-the-visitor-s-centre http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/buzz-in-the-visitor-s-centre Still looking for that special gift? How about one of these handcrafted dragonflies?

At Loch of the Lowes we are selling dragonflies for £9.99 each, beautifully created by our Visitor Centre Assistant, Melissa Shaw. They can come in these different colours:

Bronze Purple Green Yellow Lilac Red
Handmade Dragonfly

Handmade Dragonfly. ©Richard Cachia-Zammit

You can order them by phone on 01350 727337 or email lochofthelowes@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk  and collect them from the centre. Limited stock. Or commission one specially created with colour combinations of your choice.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 12 Dec 2016 14:39:32 +0000
Christmas wildlife gifts http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/christmas-wildlife-gifts http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/christmas-wildlife-gifts Christmas will soon be upon us… are you still looking for that special gift for a loved one?

Then look no further! At Loch of the Lowes we have the perfect presents for you.

Why not a photo of our ospreys?…

Supplied with an easy to use hanging kit, these stunning images have proven to be extremely popular and would make an excellent addition to any room in your house, allowing you to enjoy the magnificent sight of an osprey all year round.

Orders can be collected from Loch of the Lowes or if it’s more convenient, delivered directly to your home/work address. Order by the 20th of December to be sure that it arrives for Christmas

Fishing osprey                                                                                                        

40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 60cm x 40cm – £75 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95) 80cm x 60cm – £90 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)
Fishing Osprey ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Fishing Osprey ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Chasing ospreys

30cm x 20cm – £30 (+ standard UK delivery – £4.95) 40cm x 30cm – £45 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 50cm x 40cm – £70 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)
Chasing ospreys ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Chasing ospreys ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Intruding osprey

30cm x 30cm – £35 (+ standard UK delivery – £4.95) 40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95)
Intruding osprey ©Chris Cachia-Zammit

Intruding osprey ©Chris Cachia-Zammit

Or maybe a red squirrel photo?…

We are now also offering for sale, canvas prints of our adorable red squirrels…

 

© Chris Cachia Zammit

© Chris Cachia Zammit

Squirrel feeding 

40cm x 60cm – £75 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95) 50cm x 75cm – £80 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95) 60cm x 80cm – £90 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Cachia Zammit

© Chris Cachia Zammit

Squirrel  – Close up

40cm x 60cm – £75 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)

 

 

 

 

 

© Chris Cachia Zammit

© Chris Cachia Zammit

Squirrel enjoying a peanut 

40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 50cm x 75cm – £80 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95) 60cm x 80cm – £90 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)

 

 

If you would like to order a canvas, or for more information telephone Loch of the Lowes on 01350 727337 or email lochofthelowes@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:14:54 +0000
November sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/november-sightings http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/november-sightings Ferns with frost. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

Ferns with frost. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

November has been mild but still cold, with temperatures sometimes dropping below zero. The cold conditions have increased the number of chaffinches and coal tits visiting the feeding station, due to lack of naturally available food in the countryside. The local great spotted woodpeckers have made daily visits to the feeding station feasting on peanuts.

Red squirrels are still gathering peanuts and burying them in their hidey holes among the leaves around the feeding station, while being watched by the carrion crows who are eager to pinch an easy meal.


On the loch a good number of duck species
were recorded in high numbers. These include; wigeon, goldeneye, mallard and tufted duck. At the end of November a female longtailed duck was spotted, an unusual sighting for the loch.

Up to five great crested grebes were regular spotted on the loch. Four whooper swans came for a short break and then continued their journey to warmer places.

Four whooper swans on the loch. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

Four whooper swans on the loch. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

Flocks of pink footed geese were seen and heard flying over the loch, with some spending the evening on the loch and leaving early morning. Black headed gulls and common gulls are also gathering in large numbers to roost on the loch.

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:27:24 +0000
Beavers at Loch of the Lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/beavers-at-loch-of-the-lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/beavers-at-loch-of-the-lowes Loch of the Lowes has been home to charismatic species including ospreys and red squirrels for decades. Recently a more unusual species took up residence at the reserve when two beavers, part of the wider Tayside population, moved in.

The first unmistakable clues were found here in 2012. The felled trees and nibbled branches were clear evidence left behind by only one species. Further investigation soon led to the discovery of a breeding pair of beavers who quickly settled down in the ideal habitat provided by the reserve.

And for the past three years I’ve had the pleasure of watching these amazing creatures raise multiple young and interact with some of our other species, and witness first-hand the number of benefits they can bring.

I can clearly remember the very first time I set eyes on a beaver at Lowes. I had only been working at the reserve for a few weeks when I caught my first glimpse of a pine marten and thought nothing could ever beat it. But seeing my first beaver was something else, a magical and surreal experience and I’ll never get bored or tired of watching these incredible mammals. We’re very lucky at Loch of the Lowes to have two wildlife hides situated right on the water’s edge, providing the perfect place to watch beavers in their natural environment without disturbing them.

Beaver at Loch of the Lowes © Charlotte Fleming

Beaver at Loch of the Lowes © Charlotte Fleming

Every spring and summer, a great number of people come to our reserve to watch ospreys close up and they are never disappointed. This year in particular evening visitors were often treated to a very unexpected and thrilling surprise. The woodland surrounding the loch is a great feeding ground and the beavers can often be seen swimming gracefully across the loch, sometimes just a few feet from the hide. Or if you are really lucky, you might witness the beautiful sight of a beaver drifting on its back, munching contentedly on a water lily.

Even for people who have been wildlife watching for years, there is something very unique and incredibly captivating about these creatures. It’s a real honour to be able to share such special moments with visitors and watch their reaction as they see these beavers back where they belong.

With their scaly tail, webbed feet and unique feeding methods, at first everything about beavers seems unusual. But these are native mammals that were once widespread across the UK until they suffered the same fate as many other species; over-exploitation and persecution. Now, several hundred years later they are back. In some areas the habitat will feel as if time has stood still, in others it has changed beyond recognition. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the many important roles beavers play in their surroundings and the number of benefits they provide to other wildlife, their environment and to us.

Beaver hiding at Loch of the Lowes © Charlotte Fleming

Beaver hiding at Loch of the Lowes © Charlotte Fleming

As a keystone species, their impacts improve the habitat for many others by restoring vital wetland areas that provide a home for many insects, fish and birds. At Loch of the Lowes we’ve seen for ourselves what positive influences they can have on woodlands. They help bring new life to older woodlands by felling trees that naturally coppice and regenerate, with this fresh growth providing food for others. There is no doubt that in certain areas beaver populations will need to be managed, but in the right places the positive effects they have on their environment is undeniable.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust has welcomed the milestone decision to allow beavers to stay in Scotland and for further information please follow this link to the latest blog from our Chief Executive Jonny Hughes.

I am really looking forward to welcoming more visitors to the reserve next year to witness for themselves what wonderful animals beavers are and to see why these creatures deserve their place back in Scotland.

Charlotte,

Perthshire Ranger.

Original author: charlotteranger
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 25 Nov 2016 15:05:00 +0000
Changing Scenery. http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/changing-scenery http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/changing-scenery The Loch of the Lowes changes constantly with every season. Here are some photos of the loch in different seasons.

Panorama of the Loch in early Spring. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

Panorama of the Loch in early Spring. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

Loch of the Lowes in Summer. Photo taken by Marion Moore.

Loch of the Lowes in Summer. Photo taken by Marion Moore.

Autumn colours at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit.

Autumn colours at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit.

Morning mist rolling down the hills at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit.

Morning mist rolling down the hills at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit.

Winter-y sunset at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Cherry Bowen.

Wintery sunset at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Cherry Bowen.

 

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:16:29 +0000
Squirrel mania! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/squirrel-mania http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/squirrel-mania As winter approaches more and more red squirrels are visiting the feeding station,

Squirrel stashing peanuts Photo by Chris Cachia Zammit

Squirrel stashing peanuts
Photo by Chris Cachia Zammit

frantically collecting peanuts and hiding them in safe storage spaces for the lean months to come.

It’s fascinating to watch them scampering about all over the feeding station, digging little stashes under the fallen leaves and filling them up with peanuts. These hidey holes make easy pickings for carrion crows and jays who keep an eye where the squirrels are hiding them.

In autumn, food is plentiful for red squirrels as they can feed on a wide variety of other food items such as berries and fungi, when nuts are not available. This abundance will help them to gain weight so that they can withstand the harsh winter and hopefully keep females in good condition to bear up to two litters the following year.

Red squirrels’ coats also start to thicken and the ear tufts become more prominent at this time of year. Whilst in spring they start moulting from the head down, the sequence is reversed in autumn.

Many people believe that the squirrels hibernate during winter. In fact, squirrels will keep on foraging for food in the snow, even though they have already stored food for the winter.

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 17 Nov 2016 12:01:13 +0000
Fly tying evenings on Mondays during the winter months. http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fly-tying-evenings-on-mondays-during-the-winter-months http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fly-tying-evenings-on-mondays-during-the-winter-months Tummel ShrimpOur friendly and sociable fortnightly fly tying evenings start shortly. These evenings are open to all anglers/fly tiers, not just Club members. Evenings are informal and members are happy to teach anyone who wants to learn how to tie flies, join in for a blether or as many do try to refill these depleted fly boxes for next years fishing.

The venue is Scotland's Hotel, Bonnethill Road, Pitlochry, 7pm until 9pm on the following dates:
November 21
December 5 and 19
January 9 and 23
February 6 and 20
 We look forward to meeting you there! Call the Club mobile for further information 07541404048
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 08 Nov 2016 16:56:00 +0000
It’s beginning to look a lot like winter http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/it-s-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-winter http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/it-s-beginning-to-look-a-lot-like-winter As the temperatures are falling lower and lower, increasing numbers of wintering bird migrants are coming to Loch of the Lowes. Sizable flocks of pink footed and greylag geese can be heard flying over, with some stopping off at the reserve for a short break. Redwings and fieldfares can still be seen in the woodland, flying from treetop to treetop in search of berries.

The cold also brought in two whooper swans that were spotted flying over the loch. Other species that have been seen over the last month include; wigeon, tufted duck, goldeneye, goosander and mallards. A kingfisher was even spotted darting past the hide.

Whooper swans in flight - (Hiyashi Haka/Creative Commons)

Whooper swans in flight – (Hiyashi Haka/Creative Commons)

The young peregrine is still hanging around and a marsh harrier was spotted over the hills in the distance. In the evenings, tawny owls have be heard hooting away in the woodland around the Visitor Centre.

With winter setting in, food becomes more and more scarce. This makes our feeders an oasis for the small birds. Numbers of coal tits and chaffinches have increased markedly in recent days and our local great spotted woodpeckers are making their daily visits to the feeders, feasting on the peanuts and peanut butter which we provide for them.

With prey comes predators, up to two sparrowhawks were spotted, with several breath taking mid-air hunts witnessed at the feeding station viewing window.

Male sparrowhawk - (Andy Morffew/Creative Commons)

Male sparrowhawk – (Andy Morffew/Creative Commons)

Red squirrels are now making a come back into the feeding station, and there are a couple of new squirrels in the area which still need to figure out how to open the peanut feeders, but for now they are more preoccupied by keeping away from the local red squirrels!

Fallow deer have been rutting for the last few weeks and large herds have been seen in the woodland and wandering about in the visitor centre car park.

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 07 Nov 2016 14:11:29 +0000
HAPPY HALLOWEEN http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/happy-halloween http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/happy-halloween 30580176781_b4b5a33237_k

Autumn colours at Loch of the Lowes. Photo taken by Chris Cachia Zammit

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! From the Loch of the Lowes team.

Reminder that from the 1st of November (tomorrow) we start our winter hours; open Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10:30 till 16:00.

Regards

Chris Cachia Zammit

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 31 Oct 2016 16:45:36 +0000
Small is beautiful http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/small-is-beautiful http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/small-is-beautiful Two closely related species lay a claim to the title of the UK’s smallest bird – the goldcrest and the firecrest.  However only one of them, the goldcrest, is seen with any degree of regularity in Scotland – the firecrest having a breeding range restricted to SE England.

These tiny warblers are a common sight in their natural pine forest habitat but will also venture into deciduous woodland and gardens in autumn and winter, often amongst flocks of other small birds. Weighing a mere 6.5 grams when fully grown, goldcrests are known for their high energy performances – behaviour more akin to the tit family than warblers.

However in shape and appearance they are very much warblers, having buff white breasts, olive upper parts and dark wings with double white barring .

Male goldcrest (Creative Commons/Clement Caiveau)

Male goldcrest – (Creative Commons/Clement Caiveau)

The characteristic crown stripe found in adult birds and which gives them their name is orange to orange-yellow in males and yellow in females.

Female goldcrest - CJ Hughson

Female goldcrest – (Creative Commons/J Hughson)

The first indication of a goldcrest’s presence is often its high-pitched sweet sounding song, or “sii” communication call, which is used to keep groups together. Unfortunately, because of the high pitch many people find in later life that they are unable to hear them.

At this time of year the resident goldcrest population is swelled by the annual movement of large numbers of birds from across the North Sea. These winter migrants tend to be from the Scandinavian countries but ringed birds originating from as far away as Russia and Poland have been recorded in the UK. Amazing to think that such a tiny bird could survive such a journey!

We had our first goldcrest sighting of the autumn here at Loch of the Lowes on Thursday afternoon. Why not pop along to the reserve this weekend and see if you can spot one for yourself?

Jonathan

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 29 Oct 2016 10:26:29 +0000
We are now on Facebook! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/we-are-now-on-facebook http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/we-are-now-on-facebook We are pleased to announce that you can now follow what is happening at Loch of the Lowes by just a click of a button. Like and share our new Facebook page.

Link to Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Lochofthelowes/

swt-loch-of-the-lowes-facebook-page-squirrel

Regards

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 27 Oct 2016 11:02:07 +0000
Hibernating Hedgehogs http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/hibernating-hedgehogs http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/hibernating-hedgehogs Autumn is famous for its cooling temperatures, shorter days and turning leaves. The changing of the seasons is an important trigger for many behavioural and physiological changes in our native wildlife to help them prepare for winter.

For some, like our red squirrels it acts as a warning, spurring them on to store as much food as they can to last them through the tough winter months. For others, the drop in temperature signals that it’s time to get ready for hibernation – a strategy that helps some species of animal survive the winter by greatly reducing the amount of energy needed to keep them alive during these few months.

In the UK there are only 3 species of mammals that hibernate, dormice, bats and most famously hedgehogs. Hibernation is different from ordinary sleep as it involves the reduction of the animal’s internal temperature to match that of its surroundings – this means that they can save a huge amount of energy but makes any normal activity impossible! They will spend the summer months eating as much as they can to try and store enough fat to act as their energy supply during this time. Those that haven’t reached a sufficient wait will still go into hibernation but sadly will be unlikely to survive through to spring.

hedgehog-1759505_960_720

Hedgehogs usually hibernate from October/November through to March/April however if the weather is mild some hogs can remain active even into December. Studies have shown that most individuals will move their nesting site at least once during the winter, so you may still see them out and about when you least expect it.

Hedgehogs are one of the most iconic of the British mammals, however since 2002 it is estimated that we have lost 30% of the UK’s population, meaning there is less than 1 million hogs left in the wild. Whilst the reasons seem complex and are still under investigation, there are a few very simple steps you can take to help your local neighbourhood hedgehogs!

How to make your garden more hog friendly –

Resist the temptation to remove all of the leaf litter from your garden. Instead leave log and leaf piles which make a perfect nesting place as well as great habitat for all of the invertebrates (beetles, slugs etc) that hedgehogs love to feed on. If your fruits have finished for the season and the kids don’t play football in the winter, remove all types of netting from the garden as hedgehogs and other critters can easy become entangled in it. Before beginning any work in your garden, check for hedgehogs hiding in bushes etc before using any strimmers or lawnmowers. Compost heaps make lovely warm nesting places for hogs, so do be careful and check before forking it over. As we are approaching bonfire night, please build any bonfires as close to the lighting time as you can, and always check them thoroughly for any animals which may have begun nesting in it.

hedgehog-985315_960_720

If you see an injured or sick looking hedgehog at any time of the year, please contact the SSPCA on their animal helpline 03000 999 999.

Charlotte,

Perthshire Ranger.

Original author: charlotteranger
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 26 Oct 2016 12:58:39 +0000
Greening at Loch of the Lowes – leading by example http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/greening-at-loch-of-the-lowes-leading-by-example http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/greening-at-loch-of-the-lowes-leading-by-example Global climate change and the degradation of ecosystems through resource depletion are two of the biggest challenges that our planet currently faces. As much as we may not wish to, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s operations are contributing to this. Consequently the whole organisation is committed to reducing, where possible, the detrimental impacts of our activities on the wider environment and promoting sustainable resource usage.

As the Trust’s most high-profile reserve and one of the most visited, Loch of the Lowes is ideally positioned to demonstrate best practice in this regard. We take this responsibility seriously and have therefore introduced a number of measures in recent years to improve our environmental performance and lead by example.

Energy

With all of the wildlife cameras, tv screens, computers and other electrical equipment that we have at Loch of the Lowes, our energy usage is relatively high. However, we try to save energy where we can.

All of the lighting in and around the visitor centre and in the volunteer accommodation building is either LED or low energy bulbs. We ask everyone to turn off the lights after they’ve been to the toilet and will soon be installing sensors to turn them on and off automatically.

Lights out! ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Lights out! ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Heating for the visitor centre comes in the form of electric heaters with individual thermostats which can be adjusted depending on the required temperature in each area of the centre.

The centre is double glazed throughout and the main external doors have draught proofing to reduce heat loss.

Our volunteer accommodation building, known as “the bothy”, features amongst other eco features a green roof. This provides good insulation to keep the human residents warm and cosy as well as providing additional habitat for nature to thrive in – so much so that we regularly have to remove small sapling trees which start growing up there!

“The Bothy” ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Water

Our public toilets are fitted with cistern blocks to reduce water usage and we have a Klargester NG BioDisc sewage treatment plant and pump station which handles all of our sewage and waste water output.

Sewage treatment plant ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Where all the muck goes ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Solid and liquid waste is separated and biologically treated. Solid matter is retained within the plant and periodically removed, whilst the water component, which after processing is free from solids and pollutants, is released into the loch via a reedbed system. The reedbed acts as a backup in the very unlikely event of any remnant pollutants remaining in the water.

Waste management

We try to recycle as much as possible of the waste that is generated at Loch of the Lowes by staff, volunteers and visitors.

There are bins in the visitor centre and Crannog hide for dry mixed recycling (paper, cardboard, cartons, cans & plastic bottles), glass bottles, and food waste.

Our lovely shiny recycling bins ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Our lovely shiny recycling bins ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Did you know that most “paper” cups like those found in Starbucks, Costa Coffee etc. cannot be recycled? This is due to plastics which are used to make the waterproof inner lining. There is only one recycling plant in the UK which is currently able to recycle conventional “paper” cups and most companies don’t bother due to the high cost involved.

However there is an alternative… we have recently sourced 100% compostable paper cups! Instead of using plastics the inner lining is made from plant starch-based material which is totally biodegradable so the cups can be recycled as part of our food waste collection.

Chris helping himself to a hot drink in one of our new compostable paper cups ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Chris helping himself to a guilt free hot drink in one of our new compostable paper cups ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Food and Drink

Whilst we’re on the subject, we try our best to responsibly source our food and drink offering.

For example:

Our hot drinks are 100% independently certified under either the Rainforest Alliance or UTZ schemes.

Our fruit juice cartons and chocolate bars are Fairtrade certified.

Our biscuits are organically produced and our cakes contain RSPO certified palm oil.

Food miles are also an important consideration, for instance our crisps come from Mackie’s – a family owned company based in Perthshire.

Sandy's snacks: tasty and good for the environment! ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Sandy’s snacks: tasty and good for the environment! ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Transport

Now it has to be said that Loch of the Lowes isn’t the easiest place to get to by public transport. However, it isn’t impossible, particularly if you’re prepared to walk the two miles from Dunkeld along the beautiful Fungarth path.

There is a limited bus service (Stagecoach 60: Dunkeld-Blairgowrie) which passes the Loch of the Lowes road end in both directions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. You can download the timetable here, or alternatively pick up a printed copy from the visitor centre on your next visit. Otherwise the Stagecoach 23/27 (Perth to Aberfeldy/Pitlochry) provides a frequent service to Dunkeld (see timetable here or pick up a copy at the visitor centre).

We also try to keep a stock of Scotrail train timetables for services to Dunkeld & Birnam for anyone travelling from further afield.

Melissa checking out the bus timetables ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

Melissa checking out the bus timetables ©Scottish Wildlife Trust/Jonathan Pinnick

For those people who prefer more active travel we provide a number of cycle racks in the car park so that visitors on two wheels have somewhere to safely leave their bikes.

More than just wildlife

Hopefully this blog has revealed to you that what we’re doing here at Loch of the Lowes is about more than just protecting wildlife. We’re trying to lead by example in terms of our environmental responsibilities and encourage other individuals and businesses to consider how they can reduce their impact.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 25 Oct 2016 16:45:07 +0000
Visitor Centre Open http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/visitor-centre-open http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/visitor-centre-open I’m pleased to confirm that the visitor centre is now open, and will remain open as usual until 5pm.

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 20 Oct 2016 11:34:52 +0000
Visitor Centre Closed http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/visitor-centre-closed-1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/visitor-centre-closed-1 Due to unforeseen circumstances the visitor centre will not be opening at 10am this morning. The observation hide is open so you can still come down and enjoy the spectacular autumn colours and waterbirds on the loch.

We will let you know if we are able to open later in the day.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 20 Oct 2016 08:35:54 +0000
Just another manic Monday http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/just-another-manic-monday http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/just-another-manic-monday Another quiet autumn day at Loch of the Lowes I thought, when I arrived on Monday and looked out of the hide and across the loch. Rain was falling, mist rolling in – dreich indeed. The ‘usual suspects’ greeted me – by totally ignoring my presence – and I settled in to watch the swans, golden eyes, tufted ducks and great-crested grebes dabble and dive in front of the bird hide.

After an hour or so the rain stopped, the mist lifted, and a rainbow arched over the scene. Beautiful.

Just then a flock of birds appeared to the left of the osprey nest and headed straight for a berry-laden tree by the hide. The tree shuddered and trembled as the 50 strong flock landed on its branches and began to devour its riches. A mixed flock of red wing and fieldfare all the way from Scandinavia had just arrived! Seeing them so close up was a real treat. They seemed to be in a frenzy, hardly staying still at all, flitting from cluster to cluster picking off the ripe berries.

Fieldfare (left) and Redwing (right) - Creative Commons/Mickeboy69

Fieldfare (left) and Redwing (right) – Creative Commons/Mickeboy69

And then, just as quickly as they had arrived, they were gone, and another pulse arrived of similar size, followed by another – over 150 birds I reckoned (using my rather rusty bird-counting skills learned years ago from Bill Oddie!). Winter is definitely on its way.

I spent a contented hour or so watching the comings and goings on the loch and in the berry tree when suddenly the peace was shattered by a desperate shriek and rasping throaty call of a bird in distress. I looked across to the silver birch tree opposite the hide – favoured as a perch by our osprey family, and provider of many a branch for nest repairs – and there was a peregrine falcon in full flight dive bombing something hidden from view but perched in the tree.

Round and down again came the peregrine, to the desperate screams of the other bird. The peregrine swooped, flew up and around the headland out of sight, only to reappear and dive at its target once more. This was repeated several times, and each time the cry of the other bird sounded louder and more frantic. The nearest sound to its cries I had ever heard was of a crow being butchered by a hawk, but this was a deeper, more throaty sound, what on earth was it? Of one thing I was sure: if it came off its perch it was a goner!

Peregrine ©Pete Trimming/ Creative Commons

Peregrine ©Pete Trimming/Creative Commons

Suddenly another bird appeared over the tree line – a buzzard – and in an instant, it was all over. The beleaguered bird had been a buzzard and its desperate cries had attracted its mate who had flown in to help. The peregrine sized up the opposition and decided to call it a day, and flew off to another favourite perch of our adult male osprey, where it made itself comfortable and stayed all day, preening its feathers, getting ready for its next assault.

The buzzards disappeared over the tree tops – probably having got the message from the falcon – stay out of this area, it is mine……..until March that is, when the ospreys return and may have something to say about that!

Alwyn Ferguson – Volunteer Guide in the Hide

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 18 Oct 2016 11:23:40 +0000
Hunter’s Moon and upcoming Stargazing Event http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/hunter-s-moon-and-upcoming-stargazing-event http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/hunter-s-moon-and-upcoming-stargazing-event There will be a fabulous full moon tonight, a Hunter’s Moon.

It will rise 20 minutes earlier than a usual moonrise and appear to be glowing orange. This is the first full moon after the autumnal equinox but because it appears on the horizon unusually soon after sunset, the daylight seems to last longer. In the olden days this allowed farmers and hunters longer to carry out their work, hence its name.

Next Sunday, 23rd October, we are holding our first ever Stargazing Event at Loch of the Lowes. This is a dark sky area and we have fingers crossed for a clear sky. However, don’t despair if it is cloudy, astronomer Robert Law will present a fascinating talk instead.

Please note – Booking is required for this event so if you would like to come along please call 01350 727337.

We look forward to seeing you then!

Please see below:

stargazing

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 16 Oct 2016 15:37:07 +0000
BUCKLAND LECTURE EVENING: HOW SMART ARE FISH? http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/buckland-lecture-evening-how-smart-are-fish http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/buckland-lecture-evening-how-smart-are-fish
One of Pitlochry Angling Club's committee members Dr Andy Walker is speaking at the Buckland Lecture evening in the Pathfoot Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling on Thursday 27th October
18:30 Professor Felicity Huntingford “How smart are fish and why does this matter?”

19:20 Dr Andy Walker “Are domesticated trout less smart than wild ones? A fisherman's perspective”

Followed by open discussion and refreshments

Attendance is free and there is no need to book, but for catering purposes please let Lorna.Kennedy@glasgow.ac.ukknow if you plan to attend.
It will be a very interesting evening.
Full details are on the flyer - please click on the images on the left to see them full size



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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 16 Oct 2016 00:25:00 +0000
Guest blog by Lari Don – Hares and riddles, toads and trickery, crows and curses http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/guest-blog-by-lari-don-hares-and-riddles-toads-and-trickery-crows-and-curses http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/guest-blog-by-lari-don-hares-and-riddles-toads-and-trickery-crows-and-curses Writing about magical animals can lead to a lot of research into real animals.

I’ve often written about imaginary animals – dragons, phoenixes, centaurs, selkies – which gave me the freedom to make up physical attributes and unusual behaviours.

But recently I’ve been writing a trilogy in which many of characters shapeshift into real Scottish animals.

In the Spellchasers trilogy, my main character Molly is cursed to become a hare at inconvenient times, my main baddie Corbie often flies off as a crow, and there’s a character who’s trapped as a toad for the whole of the first book.

Common toad ©Anne Burgess/Creative Commons

Common toad ©Anne Burgess/Creative Commons

I decided that even though these creatures were clearly magical, I wanted them to act, move and have the same physical powers as real wild animals.

So I did a fair amount of research before I started writing. Initially I researched the folklore of these animals. But I also researched scientific facts about the real wild animals, particularly the speed and movement of hares. (My hare gets chased a lot, so I needed to know how she would react to danger, and how fast she could go.)

But I clearly didn’t do enough research. Because when I was tidying the final draft of the first book of the trilogy, I made a list of things to double-check – would a hare beat a racehorse, how big is a crow’s egg, how wide is a hare’s field of vision, how do toads move? – and realised I’d made a few simple (and simply wrong!) assumptions.

For example, hares have almost 360 degree vision, with narrow blind spots at the front and back. Discovering that at the last minute meant redrafting quite a few chase scenes, because my heroine was now very hard to sneak up on!

Brown hares ©Rob Burke/Creative Commons

Brown hares ©Rob Burke/Creative Commons

And toad don’t hop, toads crawl. Which took me by surprise. And meant a change of verb and often a change of layout in almost every scene.

So I really enjoyed writing about real animals, but I also found it much fiddlier and more rigorous than writing about imaginary ones. (With dragons, no one can say you got the science wrong!)

However, I hope that by giving our native wildlife starring roles in my magical adventures, I will inspire young readers to find out about the animals living around us, and inspire young writers to create stories of their own about our fascinating Scottish wildlife.
Lari Don’s most recent novel Spellchasers: the Beginner’s Guide to Curses is out now, published by Floris Books. http://www.discoverkelpies.co.uk/books/fantasy/beginners-guide-to-curses-2
More info about Lari’s books can be found on www.laridon.co.uk and Lari can often be found on twitter @LariDonWriter

Lari will be at Loch of Lowes visitor centre on Sunday 23rd October from 3.30– 4.30pm, chatting about the Spellchasers trilogy and about being inspired by Scottish wildlife.

lari-don-spellchasersMore details of the event which is suitable for 8 – 12 year olds can be found at  https://www.skiddle.com/whats-on/Perth/Scottish-Wildlife-Trust-Loch-Of-The-Lowes-Reserve/Hares-and-riddles-toads-and-trickery-crows-and-curses/12825493/

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 14 Oct 2016 10:10:35 +0000
Autumn colours and recent arrivals http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/autumn-colours-and-recent-arrivals http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/autumn-colours-and-recent-arrivals Loch of the Lowes has taken on a very autumnal feel over the past few weeks with signs of the changing season increasingly evident. With the leaves on the trees gradually losing their green chlorophyll, they are transforming into a vibrant kaleidoscope of golds, yellows, reds and burnt oranges. Eventually falling to the ground, children (and adults!) can then delight in swishing through them whilst out walking and hear them crunch under their feet.  Perthshire, with its large and impressive woodlands is a magical place at this time of year for this very reason.

Lowes in autumn ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Lowes in autumn ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

Any summer migrants have long since departed and we are starting to see some of our winter visitors arriving. On the loch numbers of goldeneye have been slowly increasing, with sightings of wigeon and teal also reported. We haven’t seen any whooper swans yet – they tend to appear later in the year. Large flocks of pink-footed geese have been passing by on their way south – for a real goose spectacle head to Montrose Basin where 85,632 were counted last October!   

Common goldeneye (Creative Commons)

Common goldeneye: female (left), male (right) (Creative Commons)

We had our first pair of brambling of the autumn at the feeding station a couple of days ago and flocks of redwing and fieldfare have been sighted in the surrounding woodland. I saw and heard a flock of a dozen or so fieldfare chuckling away in the trees beside the disabled car park as I arrived one day last week.

Male brambling ©Creative Commons

Male brambling (Creative Commons)

Our EVS volunteer Chris is desperate to see some waxwing this winter so if anyone hears of any within distance of Loch of the Lowes drop us an email!

Jonathan

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 13 Oct 2016 15:16:42 +0000
Tonight – Dolphins! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tonight-dolphins http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/tonight-dolphins This evening (Sunday 9th October) at the Birnam Arts Centre, Charlie Phillips will be talking about the Bottlenose Dolphins in the Moray Firth. This will not only be fascinating (fact-wise) but it is also a fabulous opportunity to see Charlie’s stunning photographs.

Please come along and join us (most of the Lowes’ Team are going, we know a good thing when we see it!).

There are further details in our previous blog but the vital information is that it starts at 7.30pm and tickets can be purchased on the door (Birnam Arts Centre).

Hope to see you there!

Cherry

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 09 Oct 2016 10:58:59 +0000
Reminder: An evening with Charlie Phillips – On a Rising Tide http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/reminder-an-evening-with-charlie-phillips-on-a-rising-tide http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/reminder-an-evening-with-charlie-phillips-on-a-rising-tide This Sunday evening at 7.30pm a very special event will be taking place at the Birnam Arts Centre, in aid of Loch of the Lowes and the Birnam Arts charity.

We are delighted to be joined by dolphin behavioural expert and renowned photographer Charlie Phillips.

Charlie, who is based near Inverness, works for Whale & Dolphin Conservation as their Adopt a Dolphin Field Officer. The waters of the Moray Firth are home to the UK’s only resident population of Bottlenose dolphins, many of whom have been identified as individuals through decades of research and observation. As well as being a brilliant wildlife and landscape photographer, Charlie is also an expert on bottlenose dolphin behaviour and each year communicates the incredible story of their lives to thousands of people of all ages. He’s just recently published a book entitled ‘On a Rising Tide’ – A photographic celebration of Britain’s largest Bottlenose Dolphins.

His talk of the same name will undoubtedly feature many of the amazing images contained within the book and signed copies will be available to purchase at the end of the evening.

Tickets are on sale now from the Birnam Arts Centre box office in person, by phone (01350 727674)  or online. They are also available in person from Loch of the Lowes.

Priced at £10 Adults, £8 Concessions (Over 60’s, Disabled, Students, Unwaged), £5 U-16s

The evening is a joint fundraiser between Loch of the Lowes and Birnam Arts and we would like to express our gratitude to Charlie Phillips for generously donating his time free of charge in aid of the two charities.

You can find more information about Charlie on his website

on-a-rising-tide-flyers-page-0

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 04 Oct 2016 10:27:47 +0000
Ruan Ruarie Return http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/ruan-ruarie-return-2 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/ruan-ruarie-return-2 Good numbers of fish have been showing on our Ruan Ruarie beat recently and Nick Berridge Sharp was in the right place today catching a 6lber on the fly. With plenty of fish heading through the Dam over the last couple of weeks there should be more opportunities on our Garry beat.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 03 Oct 2016 19:28:00 +0000 Fish At The Dam And Conditions Looking Good http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fish-at-the-dam-and-conditions-looking-good http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fish-at-the-dam-and-conditions-looking-good Good numbers of fish have been seen on all our beats over the last few days - and with the counter at the fish ladder already at 6319 the fish just seem to keep on coming. Martin Wilson took advantage with a nice fish of 13lbs caught on the fly on Port-na-Craig bank last night. The river is at a great height and should drop back nicely over the coming week. It's definitely worth a cast - surely a few more to come before the end of the season]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 01 Oct 2016 18:44:00 +0000 Trip to Latvia http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/trip-to-latvia http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/trip-to-latvia Recently I got the opportunity to go to Latvia through ARCH Network with Erasmus+ funding as part of a learning experience geared towards expanding the knowledge of culture in another country and comparing conservation practices to Scotland. Whilst in Latvia we learned everything from how to identify tracks from wolves, moose and wild boar to the use of remote sensing in detecting areas of the invasive non-native plant, Giant hogweed. Remote sensing is the use of technology such as lasers to take photos from an aerial view of the land. The technology can be used to detect moisture content, minerals and organic content, allowing giant hogweed to be pinpointed. I also got to experience Latvia’s culture and food and did not have a moment of hunger as we had many delicious meals every day.

Halfway through the trip we got taken down Latvia’s main river, Gauja river, on a raft. We had a wonderfully relaxing time and encountered quite a bit of wildlife, everything from a black kite to common darter dragonflies.

Our last night in Riga (Latvia’s Capital) was spent attending an event called Balta nights. There was everything from art installations to Latvian theatre projected on buildings. Whilst on our way between areas we found ourselves walking along a stream running through the centre of the city. There was a dark shape sliding through the water, we walked closer and it turned out to be a beaver! It seemed little affected by the noise and light pollution within the city and even pulled itself out onto the bank to munch some vegetation.

This trip was very educational and hugely enjoyable.

Here are a few photos from my trip;

A traditional dessert created from crumbled Rye bread, whipped cream and fresh fruit Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) Moose Footprint Latvian Meatballs Remote-sensing Airplane Hooded Crows (Corvus cornix) Art Installation for Balta Nights representing a cloud and rain Beaver in Riga City Centre A View from the Raft trip down the River

 

All in all a wonderful place to visit!

Melissa

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 01 Oct 2016 12:00:26 +0000
Improve your bird ID skills this autumn! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/improve-your-bird-id-skills-this-autumn http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/improve-your-bird-id-skills-this-autumn Due to popular demand we are offering another Birdwatching for Beginners Course with experienced local ornithologist Scott Paterson, on Sunday 9th October from 10:30am-4:30pm.

This one-day course aims to provide an informal and enjoyable introduction to birds and birdwatching. Aimed primarily at beginners, by the end of the day participants will be able to use binoculars, confidently identify common birds and most of all have enjoyed themselves!

The course will be led by Scott Paterson, a local birdwatcher and the county bird recorder for Perth and Kinross who has previously worked as a nature reserve warden and site manager for twelve years. Scott now operates his own wildlife surveying and guiding business.

The day will be divided into two parts with as much as possible taking place outside. There will be brief and informal indoor sessions, followed by longer practical outdoor sessions where we put our knowledge into practice.

Here’s some of the feedback we received from the courses that ran earlier in the year:

“Scott was very knowledgeable and the course was very good for those starting out in the birdwatching field”

“Scott has a charming, friendly manner, and is an excellent communicator, full of enthusiasm”

“Scott covered all the aspects I was looking for, in particular his knowledge of birding is excellent and very informative”

Booking is essential and places limited so call the visitor centre ASAP to secure a place.

birdwatching-for-beginners-page-0

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:43:15 +0000
Remember the week-day road closures near Lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/remember-the-week-day-road-closures-near-lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/remember-the-week-day-road-closures-near-lowes

Starting tomorrow, for the next 2-3 weeks, the council will be working on the road between Dunkeld and Loch of the Lowes. As many of you will know, this is a steep, bendy road with pot-holes and a badly rutted surface so it is in dire need of attention. 

A drain is being installed which means the main road from Dunkeld to Loch of the Lowes (A923) will be closed on week days from 19th September for 2 to 3 weeks

Please note – the road will be open over week-ends.

Throughout this period Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre, Hides and Reserve are open for business as usual. 

If you wish to visit on a week day please take the alternative route (Boat Road) via the A984 from Dunkeld to reach us.

For further information on the alternative route, please follow the link below.

http://blogs.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/osprey/2016/08/22/proposed-road-closure-affecting-loch-of-the-lowes/

We are bracing ourselves for it being quieter here but hope to see some of you!

Cherry

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 18 Sep 2016 15:27:29 +0000
Update on FR3: 15th September 2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/update-on-fr3-15th-september-2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/update-on-fr3-15th-september-2016 With this season’s batch of osprey fledglings having safely departed on their maiden migrations our thoughts turn back to last year’s progeny, FR3.

When we last checked in with our young osprey at the end of July, he had moved further inland along the Gambia river from Bulok, which had been home for over 8 months, towards Kassagne and the Bintang Bolon.

The area appears to have been to FR3’s liking as he has settled here for the time being at least.

FR3's activity between 24th August and 14th September ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

FR3’s activity between 24th August and 14th September ©Scottish Wildlife Trust

As you can see from the latest satellite imagery above, most of FR3’s activity during the past few weeks has been in and around the mangrove swamps of the Bintang Bolon to the south-east of Kassagne.

He has made a few short trips NE along the bolon (creek) on a couple of occasions and over 28th and 29th August went on an extended loop of around 12 miles (20km) in length towards Karanai, following the network of waterways back to his core area.

This photo gives you an impression of what the area is like – quite difference to what FR3 grew up with at Loch of the Lowes!

Jonathan

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:35:37 +0000
DOORS OPEN DAY – 2016. PITLOCHRY DAM http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/doors-open-day-2016-pitlochry-dam http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/doors-open-day-2016-pitlochry-dam
Pitlochry Dam 13/9/16
More news in connection with Pitlochry Dam.
For Doors Open Day on Saturday 24 September, SSE is running hour long guided tours, including inside the power station itself and into SSE’s corporate historical archive and letting people know about salmon and the fish ladder. The tours take place at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 13:00 only on this particular Saturday. Pre-booking is essential – to book tickets go to  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sse-doors-open-day-tickets-27602261106, only 30 tickets per slot. Limited mobility access to the corporate archive and across the Dam.  No dogs, except assistance dogs.  Relevant safety equipment will be provided on the day. Many of our anglers may welcome this opportunity to find out more about the dam and its history, and about the fish ladder.]]>
peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 14 Sep 2016 13:05:00 +0000
An evening with Charlie Phillips: On a Rising Tide http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/an-evening-with-charlie-phillips-on-a-rising-tide http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/an-evening-with-charlie-phillips-on-a-rising-tide Coming up next month we have a very special evening event taking place at the Birnam Arts Centre.

On 9th October at 7.30pm we are delighted to be joined by dolphin behavioural expert and renowned photographer Charlie Phillips.

Charlie, who is based near Inverness, works for Whale & Dolphin Conservation as their Adopt a Dolphin Field Officer. The waters of the Moray Firth are home to the UK’s only resident population of Bottlenose dolphins, many of whom have been identified as individuals through decades of research and observation. As well as being a brilliant wildlife and landscape photographer, Charlie is also an expert on bottlenose dolphin behaviour and each year communicates the incredible story of their lives to thousands of people of all ages. He’s just recently published a book entitled ‘On a Rising Tide’ – A photographic celebration of Britain’s largest Bottlenose Dolphins.

His talk of the same name will undoubtedly feature many of the amazing images contained within the book and signed copies will be available to purchase at the end of the evening.

Tickets are on sale now from the Birnam Arts Centre box office in person, by phone (01350 727674)  or online. They will also soon be available from Loch of the Lowes.

Priced at £10 Adults, £8 Concessions (Over 60’s, Disabled, Students, Unwaged), £5 U-16s

The evening is a joint fundraiser between Loch of the Lowes and Birnam Arts and we would like to express our gratitude to Charlie Phillips for generously donating his time free of charge in aid of the two charities.

You can find more information about Charlie on his website

on-a-rising-tide-flyers-page-0

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:43:36 +0000
SSE's NEW VISITOR CENTRE AT PITLOCHRY DAM GETTING UNWRAPPED http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sse-s-new-visitor-centre-at-pitlochry-dam-getting-unwrapped http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sse-s-new-visitor-centre-at-pitlochry-dam-getting-unwrapped

The outer wrapping shielding SSE's new Visitor Centre at Pitlochry Dam during construction has now been partly removed, allowing us a first look. The Centre is planned to open in October and it will be open all year.

 




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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 11 Sep 2016 18:04:00 +0000
What a difference a month makes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/what-a-difference-a-month-makes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/what-a-difference-a-month-makes In the last month we have seen our osprey family leave their summer home, one by one.

The unique cries of insistent young ospreys demanding food has been replaced by the calls of greylag and canada geese muffled by rustling leaves jostling in the breeze. Red squirrels are now taking centre stage, with tufted ducks vying with goosander and grebe for attention on the loch. A statue-like heron hunts in the shallows whilst a cormorant stands on a rock at the promentory, eyeing the choppy water with wings half spread. Beautiful in every season, Lowes is gently moving into autumn.

How quickly the seasons are changing but here’s a reminder of the heady days of summer at Loch of the Lowes.

KP1 ascending from the nest © Brian Taylor

KP1 ascending from the nest © Brian Taylor

This week-end we are running Discover Diving Ducks – lots of fun and fascinating facts for children and adults alike.

Cherry

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 10 Sep 2016 15:58:22 +0000
Make a splash at Loch of the Lowes this weekend! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/make-a-splash-at-loch-of-the-lowes-this-weekend http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/make-a-splash-at-loch-of-the-lowes-this-weekend This weekend is the latest in our series of family fun days – Discover Diving Ducks!

How deep does a duck dive? How long can it stay under water? Discover the answer and look for ducks on the loch. There’ll be games and quizzes for children of all ages. Suggested donation for activities – £2 (normal visitor centre admission charges apply).

Diving Ducks-page-0

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 09 Sep 2016 10:59:03 +0000
Road closures update http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/road-closures-update http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/road-closures-update Further to our earlier blog regarding the forthcoming weekday closure of the A923 between Dunkeld and Loch of the Lowes (see post here), Perth & Kinross Council have now commenced a programme of road improvements on the stretch of the A923 between Blairgowrie and Loch of the Lowes.

Works will be taking place at various points along the route between now and 10th October which will result in temporary road closures and diversions over the next few weeks.

There are currently road ahead closed signs at the Dunkeld junction of the A923 where you turn up the hill towards Loch of the Lowes. The road closure is well beyond Loch of the Lowes so we can still be accessed via this route until Monday 19th September.

As stated in the previous blog we intend to remain open as normal throughout this period of disruption.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 05 Sep 2016 11:46:33 +0000
Osprey retail therapy http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/osprey-retail-therapy http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/osprey-retail-therapy Getting osprey withdrawal symptoms already?… we have the perfect antidote!… Chris’ osprey canvases!

Supplied with an easy to use hanging kit, these stunning images have proven to be extremely popular and would make an excellent addition to any room in your house, allowing you to enjoy the magnificent sight of an osprey all year round.

Orders can be collected from Loch of the Lowes or if it’s more convenient, delivered directly to your home/work address.

Photo 1 – Fishing Osprey                                                                                                        

40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 60cm x 40cm – £75 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95) 80cm x 60cm – £90 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)

Fishing Osprey ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Photo 2 – Chasing Ospreys

30cm x 20cm – £30 (+ standard UK delivery – £4.95) 40cm x 30cm – £45 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 50cm x 40cm – £70 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)
Chasing ospreys ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Chasing ospreys ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Photo 3 – Intruding Osprey

30cm x 30cm – £35 (+ standard UK delivery – £4.95) 40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 60cm x 60cm – £80 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)
Intruding osprey ©Chris Cachia-Zammit

Intruding osprey ©Chris Cachia-Zammit

If you would like to order a canvas, or for more information telephone Loch of the Lowes on 01350 727337 or email lochofthelowes@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 01 Sep 2016 10:46:56 +0000
So long, farewell? http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/so-long-farewell http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/so-long-farewell The last couple of mornings a sound which has become very familiar to us over the last few months has been missing. KP2’s incessant calling has ceased (he hasn’t been seen or heard since Monday) and we now feel it is safe to assume that our final fledgling has departed on his maiden migration.

While the male (LM12) was still prepared to feed him, KP2 showed little inclination to do anything for himself, apart from make a lot of noise! Hopefully now that he’s on his own he’ll quickly learn to rely on his own survival abilities.

Speaking of LM12, he hasn’t been seen since yesterday morning, when he spent several hours sat on a lower branch of the silver birch tree opposite the hide, polishing off a fish – possibly his last before heading off himself? We’ll let you know if he reappears later today.

Wherever our birds choose to spend the winter we wish them all well and hope to see LM12 & LF15 back here next spring.

Our newly ringed chicks © Keith Brockie

This year’s cohort shortly after ringing © Keith Brockie

A big thank you to everyone who has visited Loch of the Lowes during this osprey season and to the many more of you who have followed our osprey family’s story online via the blog, webcam and twitter. We really appreciate your support.

The Visitor Centre remains open daily from 10am-5pm until 31st October. There’s still plenty of reasons to visit Loch of the Lowes at this time of year, with a wide variety of woodland/garden birds and red squirrels to be seen at the feeding station, waterbirds including great crested grebes and goosander on the loch and a varied programme of weekend activities for families.

Jonathan

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:04:54 +0000
Pitlochry salmon count 2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/pitlochry-salmon-count-2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/pitlochry-salmon-count-2016 Pitlochry counter Twitter site https://twitter.com/pitlochryac. Do please check this link any time you would like information on the count. Alternatively please join the many people who "follow" the site and get an email alert each time we send out an updated count.


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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 28 Aug 2016 16:46:00 +0000
Sitting in a Tree http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sitting-in-a-tree http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/sitting-in-a-tree After a brief absence this morning KP2 and LM12 have been sitting in our Silver Birch tree all day.

Giving a great view to visitors in the Hides, KP2 sat at the top calling for fish, apart from a couple of attempted fishing trips, while LM12 perched in the branches below him, eating a huge trout.

KP2 in the top of the tree with his father(LM12) below being watched by a crow.

KP2 in the top of the tree with his father(LM12) below being watched by a crow.

Once LM12 was perched with his fish it didn’t take the crows long to spot who had food and converge on LM12’s branch. Can you see the crow waiting immediately below?

Our last ospreys will be leaving any day now so come and visit them whilst you still can!

Melissa

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:48:11 +0000
Osprey Webcam is back up! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/osprey-webcam-is-back-up http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/osprey-webcam-is-back-up The webcam is back up and running now.

Melissa Shaw

Visitor Centre Asisstant

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:51:31 +0000
Webcam Down http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/webcam-down http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/webcam-down Our webcam is currently down due to a power outage.

We will have it back online as soon as possible.

Melissa Shaw

Visitor Centre Assisstant

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:38:04 +0000
Bat Walk & Talk cancelled http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/bat-walk-talk-cancelled http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/bat-walk-talk-cancelled Unfortunately this evening’s Bat Walk & Talk has been cancelled due to lack of bookings.

Our next event will now be our “Discovering Diving Ducks Family Fun Days” on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September.

Diving Ducks-page-0

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 27 Aug 2016 14:58:39 +0000
Fab photo of KP1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fab-photo-of-kp1 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/fab-photo-of-kp1 Visitor Dennis Gentles who was here last Saturday has very kindly sent us this fantastic photo of KP1 in flight over the loch and agreed to let us share it with you.

KP1 flying past the reeds on the north side of the loch ©Dennis Gentles

KP1 flying past the reeds on the north side of the loch ©Dennis Gentles

Many thanks Dennis!

KP2 has been sat in the dead silver birch on the far side of the loch for most of this morning and the male (LM12) was just seen catching and eating a fish so both are still in residence at present.

Jonathan

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 27 Aug 2016 10:58:39 +0000
KP1 departs http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/kp1-departs http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/kp1-departs Our other young female osprey, KP1, has left Loch of the Lowes and is now heading south. She was last seen two days ago (24th August). The male (LM12) is still keeping an eye on the last remaining chick (KP2), who continues to often sit on the nest calling for a fish.

Don’t forget about tomorrow’s activity (27th August) – Brilliant Bats!
Activity starts at 19:00 and finishes at 21:00. This exciting event involves a short presentation on the different species of bats likely to be found in Scotland. Following the talk, you can try your hand at bat detecting with our special devices that allow you to hear the sounds they make while hunting for food. Rangers will be on hand throughout the event to answer your questions about these remarkable and misunderstood animals.
Booking is essential and prices are as follows: Adult £8, Concessions and Members £6, Child £3. Please wear warm outdoor clothes and bring a torch if possible.

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 26 Aug 2016 16:22:33 +0000
Bats – and Osprey News http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/bats-and-osprey-news http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/bats-and-osprey-news Around Loch of the Lowes, the hills are shrouded in mist, scarlet berries glisten on rain soaked rowan trees; autumn is approaching.

The weather forecast is looking good for the Bats Event on Saturday.

Join Charlotte, the Perthshire Ranger, on Saturday evening to hear about bats and then have a great time out in the dusk looking for these fascinating little creatures. Please remember, booking is essential: 01350 727337.

Brilliant Bats C vers-page-0

 

Ospreys

Today we have seen LM12 and KP2 … but KP1 is either sheltering under the tree canopy away from the drizzle or has set off on her southern migration. We will let you know the lie of the land tomorrow …

Cherry

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 25 Aug 2016 16:24:00 +0000
Dam Salmon http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-salmon http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/dam-salmon The river is currently at a good height and there are still good numbers of salmon showing at the Dam - though they've proved hard to catch recently. Martin Wilson did well this evening, though, with a fish of 6lbs from Port-na-Craig bank on the fly - it can be done. With a few more rods out there could be more to come this week.]]> peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 23 Aug 2016 20:33:00 +0000 So long, and thanks for all the fish! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/so-long-and-thanks-for-all-the-fish KP0 has almost certainly left Loch of the Lowes on her migration south to West Africa. Her absence was noticed on Monday 22ND when the other chicks were seen on the nest calling out for fish. We would expect to see all chicks present in this situation, as they will happily accept ‘free food’ for as long as possible before having to make the effort themselves. The two remaining chicks are still preparing for migration and the male osprey is bringing in less and less fish for them, in an attempt to force them to fish for themselves. This will better prepare them for their long journey and help ensure their survival, so although it looks like the male is being cruel and ignoring his offspring, he is doing what is best for them in the long run.

Our ospreys will migrate to West Africa on their own and not as a family unit. This means that the young ospreys have to find their own way, despite never having made this journey before. While we are learning more and more about how the ospreys manage to navigate this huge distance, much of it remains a mystery. What we do know is that the birds use a combination of physical landmarks and being able to align with the Earth’s geomagnetic field to find their way. Unfortunately, between 40% and 60% of all young birds die in their first year, partly due to the treacherous migration and also having to adjust to living independently. Once the juveniles arrive in Africa, they will spend a couple of years there before migrating back to Europe in spring.

In other news, don’t forget about our next activity on the 27th August- Brilliant Bats! This exciting event involves a short presentation on the different species of bats likely to be found in Scotland. Following the talk, you can try your hand at bat detecting with our special devices that allow you to hear the sounds they make while hunting for food. Rangers will be on hand throughout the event to answer your questions about these remarkable and misunderstood animals. Booking is essential and prices are as follows: Adult £8, Concessions and Members £6, Child £3. Please wear warm outdoor clothes and bring a torch if possible.

Chris and Laura

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:05:09 +0000
Proposed Road Closure affecting Loch of the Lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/proposed-road-closure-affecting-loch-of-the-lowes http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/proposed-road-closure-affecting-loch-of-the-lowes This is just to give advance notice of roadworks which will affect visitors approaching us from Dunkeld.  We will be open as usual, 7 days a week, 10am-5pm throughout this period.

The main road from Dunkeld to Loch of the Lowes (A923) will be closed for maintenance from 19th September for 2 to 3 weeks. (see map below, red marks effected area).

effectedarea

The good news is that usual access from Dunkeld to Loch of the Lowes (A923) will be allowed at weekends.

If you wish to visit please take the alternative route (Boat Road) through A984 from Dunkeld to reach us (see map below).

map

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 22 Aug 2016 15:13:59 +0000
Crow Antics! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/crow-antics http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/crow-antics  

The crows have been at it again, this time targeting KP2 and his fish. KP2 barely had time to take a bite of his fish in between attacks. Often the crow tag-teamed and whilst one was distracting KP2 at the front, the other came creeping up behind him in an attempt to steal the fish. Whilst the crows were trying to steal the fish KP2 could be heard repeatedly making an unusual noise that sounds rather like an angry duck. This is the specific call that osprey’s make to defend against crows. Eventually KP2 flew off before being replaced by LM12 to defend the nest. Several times later in the day LM12 could be seen chasing the crows off the nest, sometimes making the same unusual call.

KP2 chasing crows of the nest!

KP2 chasing crows of the nest!

00408CF54880_21-08-2016_12-20-01.459

 

Hopefully KP2 won’t be as bothered by crows tomorrow.

Melissa Shaw

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sun, 21 Aug 2016 16:14:51 +0000
Of Crows and Ospreys http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/of-crows-and-ospreys http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/of-crows-and-ospreys This morning I arrived to find KP1 on the nest with the crow, neither bird seemed particularly wary of one another and in fact seemed to tolerate each other’s presence for 5 or so minutes before another osprey (presumably LM12) chased the crow off the nest and across the Loch.

00408CF54880_19-08-2016_09-11-50.435 00408CF54880_19-08-2016_09-11-20.799

Recently several crows have been spending time in the osprey nest picking over the remnants of fish (photo below taken 17/8/2016).

Crows on nest 17/8/16

All three chicks and their father can still be seen at Loch of the Lowes but before long should be heading off one by one to West Africa where the chick will spend a couple of years honing their skills and maturing before coming back to the UK.

Hope to see you all soon.

Melissa Shaw

Visitor Centre Assistant

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Fri, 19 Aug 2016 15:48:59 +0000
Malta through the telephoto lens http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/malta-through-the-telephoto-lens http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/malta-through-the-telephoto-lens This coming Sunday from 2-3pm we have the latest in our series of summer talks.

Maltese EVS volunteer and bird photographer, Chris Cachia Zammit, shares his birding experiences on the island through his stunning photography. Malta has a wide range of birdlife including many species not commonly seen in the UK, particularly during spring and autumn migration, so this should be a fascinating talk.

The talk is free to attend (donations welcome), however normal visitor centre admission charges apply.MaltaChrisTalk

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 16 Aug 2016 14:23:45 +0000
One gone…. four to go! http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/one-gone-four-to-go http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/one-gone-four-to-go We can now confirm that the female Osprey (LF15) has left Loch of the Lowes and started her journey towards Africa. She left on Saturday morning, when the wind decreased and the weather improved.

Female osprey LF15 at Loch of the Lowes 2016 © Scottish Wildlife Trust

Female osprey LF15 at Loch of the Lowes 2016 © Scottish Wildlife Trust

Meanwhile the young ones are still practising fishing, so far without success. The male (LM12) is still bringing in fish to the nest, even though now it’s less and less, trying to force the young ones to fish more.

We are now expecting the young ones to start to leave and eventually the male to leave the site and head south. So why not come here and see them live before they head off on their extraordinary journey?

Chris Cachia Zammit

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Mon, 15 Aug 2016 14:56:37 +0000
LF15 – our beautiful female osprey http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/lf15-our-beautiful-female-osprey http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/lf15-our-beautiful-female-osprey While it is still too soon to say for certain, it would appear our female osprey, LF15, has headed off on migration.

There has been no sign of her all day while all three juveniles and the male have been clear to see, either perched in their favourite trees or on the nest.  Last year she flew away on 7th August so her departure is not unexpected.

Females are the first of the family to leave, having completed their job of laying eggs and incubating and protecting their young until they can fly. Ever since her chicks fledged (took their first flight) LF15 has been more aloof, preferring to perch in a tree on the side of the loch and fishing for herself. She has been building up her muscles and strength in preparation for the arduous journey south.

The recent blustery winds may have kept her here longer than usual but this morning there was barely a breeze ruffling the surface of the loch.

Has she left us? Only time will tell.  If she has, we wish her a safe, smooth migration and look forward with heartfelt wishes to her return next Spring.

Cherry

 

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Sat, 13 Aug 2016 16:02:32 +0000
Optics Fair this Sunday http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/optics-fair-this-sunday http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/optics-fair-this-sunday Looking for a new pair of binoculars or thinking of splashing out on a scope? Come to Loch of the Lowes this Sunday for our Optics Fair!

An expert representative from Opticron will be on hand between 10am and 4pm, with an extensive range of binoculars and scopes for you to try out and buy.

And remember, Scottish Wildlife Trust members (existing or joining on the day) will receive a 10% discount on any purchases.

OpticsFair-page-0

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:16:16 +0000
Osprey update – 10th August 2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/osprey-update-10th-august-2016 http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/osprey-update-10th-august-2016 We’ve seen all of our osprey family today so there are still no departures at present. As I write all three chicks are on the nest, perhaps in anticipation of a fish delivery from LM12?

He was seen earlier this morning in tandem with the female (LF15) chasing off an intruding osprey that got too close to the nest. Since then LM12 has been sitting in the skeleton tree – a dead tree far over towards Craiglush as you look out from the hides.

Earlier in the week we were sent some great photos taken at the weekend by visiting photographer Steve Earle. Steve has very kindly given us permission to share them with you. Below is just a small selection of some of the images.

Get off my nest! ©Steve Earle

Get off my nest! ©Steve Earle

Osprey fishing ©Steve Earle

Osprey fishing ©Steve Earle

Fallow Deer ©Steve Earle

Fallow Deer ©Steve Earle

Young Great-crested Grebe ©Steve Earle

Young Great-crested Grebe ©Steve Earle

News from Africa

Having relocated to the Bintang bolon near Kassange, FR3 has settled down in the Gambia again over the past couple of weeks, with only localised movements around this expansive wetland area.

FR3's movement between 24th July and 9th August 2016

FR3’s movement between 24th July and 9th August 2016

There appear to be a few favoured roost sites within the central floodplain plus a couple on the edge. It should be noted however that the satellite image shown was taken in March so the floodplain may well be far more extensive that it appears.

Jonathan

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Wed, 10 Aug 2016 12:22:08 +0000
Ospreys on canvas http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/ospreys-on-canvas http://www.highlandperthshire.org/easyblog/entry/ospreys-on-canvas Our EVS (European Voluntary Service) volunteer and resident wildlife photographer, Chris Cachia Zammit, recently captured another stunning image of our male osprey, LM12, carrying a fish which he had just caught in front of the hides.

We are offering for sale a print of this image in addition to the two previously advertised. The images are mounted on canvas and are available in various sizes. Orders can be collected from Loch of the Lowes or if it’s more convenient, delivered directly to your home/work address.

Photo 1 – Fishing Osprey                                                                                                        

40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 60cm x 40cm – £75 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95) 80cm x 60cm – £90 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)

Fishing Osprey ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Photo 2 – Chasing Ospreys

30cm x 20cm – £30 (+ standard UK delivery – £4.95) 40cm x 30cm – £45 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 50cm x 40cm – £70 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)
Chasing ospreys ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Chasing ospreys ©Chris Cachia Zammit

Photo 3 – Intruding Osprey

30cm x 30cm – £35 (+ standard UK delivery – £4.95) 40cm x 40cm – £50 (+ standard UK delivery – £5.95) 60cm x 60cm – £80 (+ standard UK delivery – £6.95)
Intruding osprey ©Chris Cachia-Zammit

Intruding osprey ©Chris Cachia-Zammit

If you would like to order a canvas, or for more information telephone Loch of the Lowes on 01350 727337 or email lochofthelowes@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk

Original author: jonathan
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peterjguthrie@gmail.com (peter) Highland Perthshire Tue, 09 Aug 2016 12:45:38 +0000