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Highland Perthshire Blogs

It's hard not to be passionate about Highland Perthshire as a place to live in as well as visit. Hopefully these blogs prove the point!

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We spotted this lovely orange peel fungus (Aleuria aurantia) at the Hermitgae this week. Remember you can learn more on our "Fantastic Fungi" walk next Sunday at the Hermitage - see http://bit.ly/12y4VagOriginal linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...

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Brian Joseph continues his successful season on Tay and Tummel with a fish around 12lb from Portnacraig bank last night on a Black Flying C....
Whilst out and about at Linn of Tummel we came across what looks like a badger latrine (a small toilet pit used to mark their territory). Here's Alba checking it out!Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
This week sees the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Highland Railway Line in 1863. The Dunkeld to Inverness section was finally ready with civil engineer Joseph Mitchell and his workmen building the new railway across some of the toughest terrain in the land. Work included the Killiecrankie viaduct which...
No not autumn colours, but signs of Dutch elm disease on a Wych Elm in the Hermitage car park. The disease is caused by two related species of fungi that are carried around by various elm bark beetles. We haven’t any really big elms left on the properties but there must...
A few clouds in the sky today, but no rain so far. This was the Hermitage falls this morning, are all rivers as low as the Braan?Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...

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Tummel just below Pitlochry, 1/9/13Our river trout fishing in September through to the end of the trout season on 6 October is generally very good both during the day and in the evenings. Two SNFFL (Scottish National Fly Fishing League) competitions take place over this period, a SNFFL First Division one on Sunday...
Having created quite a few trips now around Birnam Hill on Everytrail (check these out), I realised this morning that I'd never mapped the standard Birnam Hill route which you find in all the guides.  So today was the day - nae messin' as they say, and this route sticks faithfully...

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Only two returns this week. Firstly Brian Joseph had a 9lb fish on Monday night fishing Portnacraig bank ( Flying C). Gordon Nichol was our other success on Sawmill with an 8lb fish on Wednesday night ( Stoats Tail ).   JK...

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Many summer holiday visitors have been leaving Blair Atholl over the last few days, and with the dismantling of the horse trials it has gone quiet. But this is not just because all the people have gone, many of the summer bird visitors have flown off too. Suddenly we notice that there's no...

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A quiet week on Tummel all round with most rods thinking of other venues to fish at the back-end of the fishing season. Brian Joseph was thinking along these lines at the end of the week. Quote! Having filled two reels with line yesterday ready for the backend, I went down...

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The great weather of the early summer has meant that the forest fruits are really flourishing.  Whereas the wild raspeberries are often a bit scabby, this year there is a fair scattering of beautiful juicy berries.  There are wild strawberries to be found that taste more like traditional parma violet sweets...

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Some very considerate angler left a bottle of factor 30 sun blocker on the table in hut at Loch Bhac and that certainly was the order of the day for the month of July.Catches certainly reflected this although some anglers found success fishing deeper water.Goldheads,buzzers and damsel nymphs were working well.The...
Rafters enjoying the Falls of Tummel this afternoon.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
We also walked to the Linn of Tummel with the guide dogs enjoying plenty of freedom whilst the sighted members of the group assisted with the guiding during the walk.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
Lothian Blind Ramblers spent the day at Killiecrankie today and are seen here having a look at our charcoal kiln.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
Still to moult into adult plumage, this young robin is a regular around the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre. But will be in its Christmas card plumage before you know it!Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
This was the view from Craigower summit above Pitlochry earlier today - highly recommend a walk to the top if you don't know it already - and on a clear day, like today, it is possible to see all the way to the mountains of Glencoe.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger...
We had a great afternoon at our Battle of Killiecrankie yesterday, these pictures were taken during the interactive demonstration in the woods. The next event is on Wednesday 21st August at 2pm if you would like to find out more about the Jacobites come and join us.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire...

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Most days I love my job as a wildlife ranger, but today wasn’t one of them- in fact it was soul destroyingly  depressing as I shall explain. . . We recently joined forces with the owners of Craiglush loch, which is immediately adjacent and upstream of Loch of the Lowes, to...
Well, it looks like our beloved female osprey has left for the long journey southwards on her autumn migration. She has not been seen on the nest or around the loch since mid yesterday and we are now fairly certain she has left for the year. When the wind dropped and...

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Last year we came across an otter in the little dam that many years ago served as the water supply for Birnam - but I think no-one believed me!  So imagine how happy I was this morning when, just as we pass by the Birnam Glen gnomes, I hear a splash...

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by Lindsey Blue YZ has had a bit of a day of it. She’s been divebombed by an intruder Osprey and had a near miss with a Heron. She’s spent much of the day on the Squinty Tree perch, a favourite of her parents and a new place for her. This...

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Nice to see that Gordon Nichol and Calum Mc Roberts are still persevering on Sawmill despite a lengthy period of virtually no action on Tummel where Salmon are concerned. Fish have contined to run the ladder at the Dam over the past month at around 20---30 fish per day. A miniscule...

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by Lindsey Lots of intruder activity this morning with two of the regular intruders in plus two others. It’s likely that the two ‘new’ intruders are Ospreys that have started their migration and their behaviour seemed to show that. Our female got rid of two of them with her usual delicate...
Our pine marten family is still visiting the peanut feeder regularly at Killiecrankie Visitor Centre. Here’s some nocturnal activity from the family, showing off their amazing climbing skills!July 2013Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
All our ospreys have spent most of the day sheltering from the strong winds. The male brought a good sized grilse to the nest at 09.35 which the female soon seized & Blue YZ took charge of a second fish shortly before 2pm. Blue YZ had a number of short flights...

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There has been a lot of coming and going today on our Osprey nest and plenty of activity out on the loch. The juvenile Blue YZ has been doing lots of flights to and fro, and has spent a lot of time sitting on the large tree on the headland opposite the...

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The grounds of Blair Castle have many common lime trees (Tilia x europaea), including the wonderful lime avenue drive up to the Castle from the village. This was planted way back in 1737, though some trees have been replaced since then. Lime avenue from Blair Castle to Blair AthollThe lime trees are now...
We have a new species record for Killiecrankie! Ranger Louise was working in the woods down towards the river when she spotted a male Rhinoceros Beetle (Sinodendron cylindricum). It has been confirmed as a new species for the site and one of only a few recordings across Scotland. It is a...
Two great ranger led events are coming up over the next couple of days here at Loch of the Lowes-there are still a few places left so book now!  Call 01350 727337 Friday the 2nd August ” Nature Detectives for Kids”  1pm- 3pm.  Have fun discovering the world of secret and...
We thought we would play around with our camera and take a photo of the Hermitage using black and white. Does it look like we've travelled back in time? Share if you think "yes".Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
Our next kid's event "Geology Rocks" is this Wednesday 31st July, 10.30am-12noon at Killiecrankie. Why not come along and find out about rocks, volcanoes, glaciers and much more. Great fun for families with kids aged 5-12 years. £3 per child.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
Our new team member Alba, has finally had all of her vaccinations and was out on her first patrol at the Hermitage this weekend. She enjoyed meeting all the visitors and exploring under the big trees.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
Loch BhacHot weather, thunder & lightning and no wind don't make for great fishing conditions but sometimes they contribute to bonny pictures. The beauty of the loch was more than adequate compensation for the lack of activity. The trout will be there for another day!...
The Battle of Killiecrankie was fought on this day 27th July in 1689. Get to grips with the gory details at our interactive battle talk. 2-3.30pm. Adults £4 Kids £2, meet at the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre.Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
On this day in 1689 General Hugh Mackay (flag in the photo is his standard) and 4000 government soldiers were camped in Dunkeld waiting to march north towards Blair Castle. Tomorrow the standards of both MacKay and Dundee will fly at half mast at the Killiecrankie Visitor Centre, as a mark...
Various specialist repairs are required to the amazing, Atholl Memorial fountain in Dunkeld. The current estimate of cost is over £78,000! At 147 years old, it deserves some TLC does'nt it?Original linkOriginal author: North Perthshire Ranger Service...
Why not do a bit of butterfly spotting when the rain stops :) Timeline PhotosThe Big Butterfly Count has started! Download our new free app and count on the move and why not join our photo competition? But most of all, get out for the count! Just 15 minutes needed to...

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A brief flurry of excitement the other week. Returning from a butterfly survey in Baluain Wood, above the castle a flighty fritillary butterfly was sighted. After a short but mad dash, waving the butterfly net wildly about to apprehend the fast flying and elusive insect, it was caught. A few tense...
On Saturday, the Tayside Conservation Volunteers (CVs), came to Killiecrankie to help the rangers with some work on our charcoal site. For more information on volunteering with the NTS visit http://bit.ly/14vf1ORThe NTS Tayside Conservation Volunteers help the rangersOn Saturday, the Tayside Conservation Volunteers (CVs), came to Killiecrankie to help the rangers...

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Club President Jimmy Ross at work on the bankClub President Jimmy Ross again organised a work party of club members to strim the access routes used by anglers and cut back scrub along both banks of Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat tonight. The work will benefit both visitors and members. Jimmy passes on...

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Beautiful hot, sunny weather has come to Highland Perthshire. Summer has arrived at last. The sunny weather is perfect for butterflies, but sadly there are hardly any to be seen. The ranger service surveys 2 butterfly transects every week, and the lack of butterflies has been very evident. The flowers are...
This morning's art session at the Hermitage saw some great imagination from the young participants. Great fun was had by all doing some stone painting, making mobiles and creating some giant woodland creatures.Really Wild Art at the HermitageThis morning's art session at the Hermitage saw some great imagination from the young...
Today is one of my favourite days of the year, when as a ranger I get the amazing privilege of meeting one of our ospreys face to face- always an awe inspiring experience. Today was ringing and tagging day for our chick at Loch of the Lowes, and most likely the...

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…female, so all our guesses were right! Our chick now has its Darvic ring on its left leg which is blue with the letters YZ so from now on the chick will be referred to as Blue YZ. She has also been satellite tagged so we’ll be able to track her...

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An exciting day here at Loch of the Lowes as we’re in the process of ringing and tagging the chick with the help of Roy Dennis and Keith Brockie. We’ve changed the webcam to a different view to protect the safety and security of the nest and Emma and I will both...

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by Lindsey The Ospreys have been chilling out round the nest today, our female was off the nest for a while this morning but sitting nearby on the dead tree she favours. The chick has been stretching its wings and doing lots of wing flapping. This is great for strengthening the...

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What started as a sizzling day on the loch has now cooled to a breezy afternoon which wildlife, visitors & staff have been very pleased to see. Red squirrels have been active at the feeders after a morning of keeping cool in the shade & the fallow deer have been drinking...
Whilst on patrol at the Hermitage today, the rangers found the remains of a small fire. Although probably 1-2 days old the ash was still smoldering-a good reminder of how dangerous it can be to have fires in the countryside during dry conditions. The rangers managed to extinguish this one with...

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On Wednesday despite low water conditions Robert Gardiner had two fish from the Garry at Ruan Ruarie. The fish were recorded at 6.5lb and 4.5lb both on Black flying c. Robert was also attached to a much larger fish but with a different outcome.     JK...

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Another hot and heavy day here at Loch of the Lowes with the staff, visitors and wildlife alike trying to keep cool in the shade as much as possible. Two fish deliveries by the male osprey today so far ( a pike and a perch), and some sticks and mud- perhaps...
Today sees the commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne. In 1690 two rivals were fighting to claim the throne - Catholic King James and Protestant King William, who had disposed James in 1688. One of the first battles to try and settle this took place at Killiecrankie. Why not come...

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All is well on our Osprey nest here at Loch of the Lowes, though we have had some funny incidents in the last 24hrs. The enormous salmon that kept getting recycled to the nest yesterday was still around in the evening. The osprey chick had a good go at feeding itself,...

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 Not such a hot day today at the Loch of the Lowes today, with mist and cloud, though still warm- there is no doubt that this year’s comparatively settled weather is a boon to our birds as they raise their young without last year’s prolonged downpours and cold spells.  Our female...

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The heat today at Loch of the Lowes has been causing a few problems for wildlife, technology and sunburnt staff and volunteers alike! Though the sunshine is glorious, the temperature here is in the high 20’s ( by some reports locally 29degrees) making it one of the hottest places in the...

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Again good returns reported from both Bhac and Kinardochy although conditions experienced on the day very much reflected in fish caught. Strong north wind was in evidence some days, consequently fish were rather shy during those occasions. Flies that were working well included olives, greenwell, nymphs, claret bumble and spiders. As...

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This news has been embargoed for a couple of weeks while investigations are carried out... but imagine my consternation on an early morning walk with the Birnam Glen Dog to find our good friends the BG Gnomes lying head down in the burn (one with a severe injury).  Who could have...

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Fishing is not great on Tummel at the moment but if you wanted to pick up a bit of money today! The sure bet would obviously have been Djokovic----Murray----and Brian Joseph with another fish from Sawmill. Brian switches from fly to spinner and success this time was 12lb on Flying C....

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 Great news on the Loch today: our Great Crested grebes have hatched at least one chick. Around lunchtime we saw a tiny wee head pop up amongst the female’s wing feathers as she sat on the nest. These birds have a habit of carrying around their wonderfully striped chicks on their...

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2013 is the twentieth anniversary of the passing of Maurice Wilson while fishing below the dam. ( This brings a smile to my face and I don`t know why ! is that the way to leave ) Iwas not involved with Pitlochry Angling Club at that time but have listened to stories...

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Last week Duncan Judge visited our Dam beat for the first time and was successful with an 8lb fish on a Ness C varient. Today on a return visit Duncan had similar success with a fish of 9lb on the same fly. Of course I wanted to see the deadly pattern...

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A brilliant short video produced by 2020 Vision that we came across and couldn't resist sharing with you. The video encourages and explores the idea that nature needs our help and we need it. The video gives a special mention to several places and projects going on across Scotland and in the...
Just had a return from Scott Henderson who fished Ruan Ruarie, our River Garry beat, today with two friends. He caught two salmon, the first a fish of about 10 lb from the Grilse Pool on Flying C, and the second a fish of about 14 lb from the Panhandle, again on Flying C. One of his friends...

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by Lindsey Well our feisty chick has had a busy day, in the last few days it’s pecked its mum (not a good idea) and its dad, today it took it a step further. Just before nine this morning the male was on the nest with the chick, he was foutering...

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The ranger service has been hard at work installing new set of waymarked trails around Blair Atholl and the surrounding area. The way markers are now all in place for visitors and locals alike to explore the trails but the work wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of volunteers...
Archie Graham and Steve Stewart on Portnacraig bank on SaturdayNot a bad week below the dam, with 8 fish caught, all off the Pitlochry bank, three on fly and 5 on spinner. Four salmon were also caught on the members' Sawmill Beat. No fish were reported caught on the Ruan Ruarie...

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by Lindsey No guest blogs today,  just me doing my usual slot. It’s been a busy day on the nest and the loch. On the Osprey nest there have been five fish and a surprise so far, the surprise being a large eel. The female and chick didn’t seem to impressed...

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Click on the pictures of the trails booklets below to view printable online versions of the publications.Waymarked Trails from Blair Atholl (published by Atholl Estates)http://goo.gl/iUIJBAtholl Trails (published by the Cairngorms National Park Authority)http://goo.gl/tS2sZCountryside Trails Dunkeld (published by Atholl Estates):http://goo.gl/x2a5vCycle Routes from Blair Atholl(published by Atholl Estates)This booklet is not currently available...

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By Cherry Way back in the snowy winter months, we decided to run a ‘Wildlife at Midsummer’ Family Fun Day this week-end. This was to be a celebration of the Midsummer Solstice on 21st June and a great opportunity to highlight the effect our planet’s greatest tilt towards the sun has...

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The rhododendron is in full flower in the Castle grounds and looking quite magnificent. However, the common rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum) is not always so welcome out in the wider countryside where it can spread through woodland swamping other vegeatation completely until there is nothing left but the rhododendron. It looks good at...
Duncan Judge fishing near the top end of Portnacraig bank on Friday afternoon.Midsummer and the Club's Tummel beats continue to fish well for those anglers out on them. On Thursday (20 June), Paul Wilson and Gavin Manclark made an early start and caught 8 lb and 12 lb fish respectively on...

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The longest day started overcast & dreich but the saying “rain before 7 – off by 11″ was certainly true on the loch. So far it has been peaceful at the nest with no intruders. Our female has been at the nest all day with just short flights over the loch....
Hello, my name is Laura and I am one of the Masters students carrying out their research project at Loch of the Lowes. I am trying to determine whether supplementary feeding affects the density and behaviour of red squirrels by placing new feeding boxes at different points around the reserve. The...
Brian Holmes on Pitlochry bank on Wednesday afternoonOnly two anglers were out below the dam on Tuesday and one on Wednesday, but the beat is still fishing well and three fish were caught, all off Pitlochry bank on flying C by Brian Holmes. Two estimated  at 7 lb and 14 lb were on Tuesday and...

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It’s been fairly quiet on the nest here at Loch of the Lowes over the past couple of days. Our chick is now 18 days old and continues to astound us with its remarkable development. Despite hatching over a week later than Blue 44 last year, it seems to have made...

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Greetings to all osprey blog followers! We are two of the full-time Residential Volunteers this summer here at Loch of the Lowes. We wanted to explain a little about what we do here, and the other Scottish Wildlife Trust Perthshire reserves, and what it means to be a Residential Volunteer for...
Callum Imray (to the left of the photo) and Dean Pepper just starting their afternoon session on the Portnacraig  bank.Two salmon were caught below the dam today, both in the morning off the Pitlochry bank at the top end of the water, both on Flying C, and both estimated to weigh...

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by Lindsey A routine day on the nest with a large Brown Trout coming in mid morning and being recycled several times. None of the birds seemed particularly hungry given how often they ignored it. A small Pike did turn up mid afternoon appeared to go down well so maybe they...
by Lindsey A regular day on the Osprey nest with three fish so far, one Mystery Fish and two Brown Trout. They seem very well fed as this morning’s Mystery Fish lay around in the nest for hours until it was finished. It’s been warm here today so we’ve been getting...

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The work party starting to assemble - Jimmy Ross (Club President), on the left of the photo, and Gordon Nichol (committee member)A work party of club members organised by Club President Jimmy Ross did some vegetation trimming this morning around the seat on the Pitlochry bank on Portnacraig Pitlochry Beat and on...
Gordon Hanslip releasing his fish on Saturday on the members' Sawmill BeatThere was quite a bit of action below the dam on Saturday, but mainly salmon hooked and lost, only one was landed - a fish of about 13 lb on the Pitlochry bank caught by Paul Chappell of Motherwell on a small red Francis fly....

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Surprise! Surprise! Where did that come from after a quiet week at the Dam beat. Maybe it was the rapid change in atmospheric pressure or the Ladder being closed down the day before. Yesterday (Friday) we had one of our better days fishing with six salmon caught, mainly on Pitlochry bank....

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Late March and I feared the worst for our Spring Salmon catches. Mid May and the counter showed only 90 odd fish through the ladder!. The counter this morning registered 2442 an excellant number of Spring fish through the ladder that probably will ensure good catches in future seasons. Spring returns...
by Lindsey Visitors and staff were stunned this morning when a U.S.O (Unidentified Swimming Object) was sighted out in front of the hides. The monster  appeared and reappeared slinking around in the water heading for the hides. We caught glimpses of it here and there in the reeds and under a...

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Don’t forget we are running lots of fun activities for all the family this weekend at our Visitor Centre: lots of craft activities for the kids and live osprey viewing for all. No need to book, just join in any time between 11am and 4pm Saturday and Sunday. These activities are...

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Another beautiful spring day here at Loch of the Lowes-your ranger and her team even got sunburn today working out on the reserve doing botanical surveying! The ospreys have had another good day, with two fish delivered today so far, both of which were recycled at least twice to nest nest....

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Spring has definitely arrived at last and the grounds of Blair Castle are teeming with new life. An oystercatcher has laid eggs in the car park (don't worry, we've roped it off so they don't get squashed!) and another oystercatcher has chicks running aound near hercules Garden. The resident swans in the...
National Centre Cumbrae © Robin McKelvie I’ve sailed around many parts of the world, but for me nothing beats sailing in Scotland. We’ve got 800 islands, swathes of rugged coastline and a wide range of sea conditions. Swirl in an impressive range of marinas and sailing schools and Scotland really is...

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All is well on our osprey nest today, with our youngster still going from strength to strength. There were three fish deliveries this morning by our male , but no fresh fish this evening so far, and the female has had to eek out the earlier fish as many small meals for the...

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An unusual catch return came in late last night when the rods fishing the Dam yesterday reported two Salmon caught to Elaine Sleight and Sabina Gladstone. Both were first ever Salmon caught and released and were given as 9lb fresh and 12lb slightly coloured, both caught on Yellow Flying C. Surely...

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Our osprey chick goes from strength to strength here at Loch of the Lowes, and is already considerably bigger than when it hatched on Saturday. There have been plenty of fish today- the poor male keeps sitting on the edge of the nest  as if ‘asking’ to be allowed to take a...

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by Lindsey Our wee one is still doing well, looking strong and healthy and growing fast. There’s been two fish in today so far, both Brown Trout and both were recycled (brought in and out the nest) several times. No sign of pipping or movement from the eggs. You can see...
It has been a very busy weekend here at Loch of the Lowes with the Ranger and staff getting interviewed by TV, radio and newspaper media. We have also had plenty visitors thrilled for choosing the most exciting weekend to visit so far. But we have kept in mind your requests and...

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by Lindsey Our new osprey arrival is thriving, looking strong and healthy and doing lots of food begging and so is being fed regularly. There’s been four fish so far today three Pike and one colourful Rainbow Trout, one of the Pike turned up a mere 10 minutes after she’d ‘ordered’...

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What  a wonderful day here at Loch of the Lows- blazing spring sunshine and a newly hatched osprey chick settling in so well to life on the nest.  The celebrations continue here as word spreads that  our female osprey has bred successfully again for her 23rd year.  The chick has been...

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After such a long and anxious wait , we finally have an osprey chick safely hatched at Loch of the lowes. About 8.45am our wildlife Interpretation officer Val Gall and volunteer Rebbecca spotted the first signs in one of the eggs. This tiny hole and subsequent crack progressed remarkable quickly to...

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Arisaig Beaches © Robin McKelvie 1. Hollywood Calling – Arisaig Beaches A rich necklace of pure white sand strings itself around the wild northwest coastline between Arisaig and Morar. Stretching from the Back of Keppoch north to the mouth of the River Morar these beaches offer epic views and sunsets out...
Robin McKelvie was one of our recent "adventure McNabbers", check out this great entry from his blog on the popular Welcome to Scotland site... Glen Tilt © Robin McKelvie Some corners of Scotland offer great food or a swathe of family attractions, others world class adventure sports and craggy castles. Highland...
Robin McKelvie, Helen Ochyra and Rob Savage were up in Highland Perthshire just a few days ago, and after conquering a Munro in the capable hands of the Atholl Estates on day one of their trip, they bravely moved on to what turned out to be a pretty exhausting challenge -...