Friday, 10 December 2010

Winter Hits the Lodge!

The David Marshall Lodge has been hit by the recent Big Freeze, as have many parts of the UK; because of this the Lodge has been closed for many days. The good news is that we are now open!

Wildlife Watch currently has live cameras on Red Squirrels, Bird Feeders and recorded footage of the 2010 ospreys season, plus many other recordings of different species that you might find in the forest e.g. Pine Marten, Peregrine and Barn Owls!

This weekend is shaping up to be a busy one with Christmas Tree sales, Christmas crafts and the Rockin' Robin trail, so why not pop up and join in the fun!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

New Name for Aberfoyle Osprey Viewing!

The Wildlife Viewing Project at the David Marshall Lodge has a new name!! We have been considering for sometime that the room that is not only home to the Aberfoyle Ospreys but also many other different species for wildlife needed a new name and we can now reveal that the winner is "Wildlife Watch". This has been chosen as we feel that it lets people know exactly what is in the room and what is it all about! This is just the start of many changes to come in the next few months, keep watching for more info!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Buzzard 61 Spotted in Sutherland!

Some of you may not know but this year as well as a live link to an osprey nest we also had a link to a buzzard nest. This nest was success full and fledged three chicks and we have had news today that one of them has been spotted in Ardgay, Sutherland! These birds can be identified by the wing tag colours and numbers that are placed on them every year for the same reason as the ospreys. This just shows how far these birds can fly once they have fledged off the nest.

If you do spot any birds with wing tags or rings then please do let us know, this helps us to keep track of all the birds that were born and fledged in the Aberfoyle area.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Osprey Update!

Well the Aberfoyle osprey season is nearly over for another year and what a season it has been!
We do now believe that both our unknown female bird and also Red 6A has started making their way south for the winter. Our chicks Fred, Ozzy and Jemima don't look far off, with us expecting them to start making their way south in the next few days.

Just to let you all know even though we are at the end of the osprey season it doesn't mean that you cant pop in and see us. The David Marshall Lodge is open throughout winter with opening times as follows; September and October 10am-5pm and November and December 10am -4pm. You will be able to catch up on all the action from the 2010 osprey season as well as see live cameras on Red Squirrels, Birds feeders and much more!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Ospreys Are A Go!

In the last week all of our ospreys have made their first flights off the nest. The first (read earlier blog post) on the 17th July followed by the other 2 at some point over the last week. We nearly didn't know about this as we believe that as one of the ospreys chicks made its first leap it landed on top of the camera causing the camera to tilt meaning it was recording the ground. A mission rescue had to be launched on Friday 23rd July to allow us to see pictures of the nest again. All 3 chicks have been seen back on the nest feeding
We never thought that we would see this moment, with the live nest failing early on in the season. But we have battled through and the season has been very successfull!

Monday, 19 July 2010

We have lift off!

On Saturday 17th July our oldest osprey chick took its first flight off the nest. It had been doing a lot of flapping and walking very close the edge of the nest most of the day before making its first flight.

Both of the other chicks are preparing for their 1st flight with lots of flapping action taking place. The other chicks are expected to take their first flights in the next few days!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Osprey Chicks are Named!

After many weeks of waiting, today is finally the day when we would discover the name of our three osprey chicks. With over 250 entries, competition was though but the judges decision is final and the winners are.........................
  • Ozzy
  • Jemima
  • Fred

Ozzy had been a popular choice this year so there was no surprise when it was pulled out of the hat. There had been many other suggestions and one of the most bazaar ones was Cheryl Cole.

All of the chicks are growing well and we expect them to be making their first flight in a matter of weeks!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Osprey Chicks are ringed!

Earlier this week our 3 osprey chicks were ringed. The have been ringed Dark Blue HV, HW and HY. After weighing the chicks and seeing them at close hand we believe that we have 2 males and a female. The closing date for the naming competition is today (9th July) so by early next week our chicks should all have names.

All of the 3 chicks are growing rapidly mainly due to the amount of fish that our male osprey is bringing in! They are not long now off making there first flight. They are now old enough to be able to feed themselves as was seen this morning when one of our chicks was seen trying to swallow a fish tail whole!!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Carm After The Storm!

After a roller coaster of a ride for the Aberfoyle ospreys I am proud to say that everything seems to be back on track. All 3 chicks are growing well and proud mum and dad are both working well mum protecting the chicks on the nest, while dad is away fishing.

Now that the chicks have hatched, we are currently running a competition to name them, ideas are coming in think and fast, why not pop up to the David Marshall Lodge to give us your suggestions!

Monday, 31 May 2010


Today I am reporting something that I never thought I would be saying this season. Our 3rd osprey egg has HATCHED! It was discovered this morning so we believe it hatched at some point over the weekend! Mother and chicks all seem to be doing well.

We are going to be running a competition to name this years chicks, so watch this space for details!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Another osprey chick sees daylight!

Today the second osprey egg has been spotted on the nest. This means that because of the delay of recording the osprey nest the 2nd egg hatched on the 26th May at around 1pm. This is because the latest nest does not have a live linkto the David Marshall Lodge. Also we can only record up to 4 hours of footage at a time and because of this it does take us sometime to discover new happenings on the nest. Please bear with us.

The male osprey is living up to his job of bringing in fish with a plentiful supply of fish for both mother and children arrving at the nest throughout the day. On the other cameras in the Wildlife Viewing room we now have 3 very cute fluffy buzzard chicks, 2 fluff balls that are Barn Owl chicks and a plentiful supply of Great Tit chicks of which some are getting ready to fledge the nest.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Hatching Galour!

After the events so for this season we never thought that we would see this day but this morning at around 10.15am the first osprey chick was spotted.
The chick was spotted on our back-up camera when the disc was been swooped over this morning. At the time the female, who has still not been identified was feeding the chick its first breakfast. We are now all eagerly awaiting the hatching of the second egg.

Also over the weekend we spotted the first of our Buzzards chicks and even though the camera is a bit fuzzy at the moment we beleive the mother and chick are both doing well. In the last few weeks the Great Tit eggs have also hatched with two nests on camera in the Wildlife Room. They have both had 6 chicks each. Why not pop in and see the new editions to our family?

Monday, 17 May 2010

All is not lost!

Earlier last week we broke the news that the 3rd and final egg had been kicked out of the nest. There was maybe some slight hope in some of us that the female may lay again but unfortunately she hasn't been seen on the nest since.
But all is not lost... we now have a camera on a never before seen nest at the David Marshall Lodge. This camera isn't live but is this season and from the Aberfoyle area. This means that we are still able to watch the happenings of a osprey couple for the rest of the season. :-)
The new pair haven't yet been identified and we are still unsure of how many eggs the female bird is incubating, but we are hoping that this nest will have a more successful season than the last one!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Bad news

Today has been a day that we all hoped wouldn't happen. The third egg has been evicted from the nest. It was discovered this morning at around 10.00am. The intruder male was seen on the nest yesterday afternoon and was trying his best to get rid of the third egg and at some point in the early hours of this morning he was successful. But the egg can still be seen on the camera; it is currently wedged on what must be a little ledge on the nest.

This is a disappointment for the second year running with this nest, but we are still hoping that the small chance of the new pair mating may still happen. Let's all keep our finger crossed!

Monday, 10 May 2010

A roller coaster ride

Last week was a roller coaster of a ride for the ospreys at Aberfoyle. With the original male returning on Monday we hoped that everything would get back to normal for the osprey pair - minus 2 eggs of course. But this was not to happen; the intruder male has been showing up on the nest every now and again, which has been causing the female to get extremly angry! He has also had a few more attempts to get rid of the 3rd and final egg - unsuccessfully you will all be happy to hear!

As I wrote this the original male was away fishing and the female was sat on the one remaing egg, so hopefully in ther next few weeks we will see the one and only chick of the 2010 season!

Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

The Ups and Downs of Being an Osprey

As of last week, the resident ospreys here at Aberfoyle had laid 3 eggs. This was looking good for the rest of the season, but everything was about to change...

On Saturday 1st May at around 12.00pm, a metal-ringed male entered the nest which the female was sat on, incubating the eggs. This shocked us all as it indicated that the resident male (Ringed - Green DX) has been in a fight and lost. Over the course of the day, as we expected, the new male tried his best to destroy the 3 eggs that were in the nest. He successfully managed to kicked one of the eggs out and smash the other!

The male continued to try to destroy the last remaining egg on Sunday, and on Monday morning, we thought that he had succeeded! But again, everything was about to change...

At around dinnertime on Monday a familiar figure appeared on the side of the nest. It was the original male, back to fight for his female and nest, and he was successful! We also discovered that there are still signs of a egg in the nest

This leaves us all here at The David Marshall Lodge holding onto our hats for the next episode. As I write this the female (Ringed Red 6A) is sat on the one remaining egg. Whether it is damaged or not we are unsure, but with all our fingers crossed we are hoping that the ospreys can get back on track with breeding.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Local male returns

Our male has now been identified as DX Green confirming that it is the bird that was ringed locally about 5 years ago.

Over the last few days Red 6A had been showing signs of laying, and our waiting finally paid off yesterday as she laid her first egg!

Our new male does seem to be getting a little confused though, as it looks like he wants to incubate rather than catch fish! Hopefully he will come to his senses before too long.

We wait in earnest for the 2nd egg....

Friday, 16 April 2010

Returned birds - more details

Both the returned birds are colour ringed.  As mentioned in the previous post, the female is the familiar red 6A who we have seen on the nest for a number of years. The male is new but is also wearing a colour ring.  It looks like green OX but might be green DX. It looks as if this might be a bird that was ringed locally in 2005 but we need to confirm the ring details first!

The male has been busy providing fish for red 6A and no other birds have been seen competing for the nest as yet!

Red 6A is back!

Just a quick update to say our female red 6A is back on the nest with a new mate whose identity is yet to be confirmed. The new male is busy trying to impress our female with lots of fresh fish and has also brought plenty of sticks to spruce up the tired nest.

Help celebrate the ospreys return

Why not help us celebrate the return of the ospreys this Saturday, 17th April, at David Marshall Lodge.  Plenty of family activities - see the return of the ospreys information on the Forestry Commission Scotland website.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Gearing up for the season

As you might have seen from our counterparts' blog at Tweed Valley, it's osprey breeding season once again.  Unlike Tweed Valley, though, here at Aberfoyle, we're still waiting for the birds to return to their nest.

The good news is that ospreys have been spotted close by, so we're keeping our fingers crossed that they'll soon be back on camera.

At David Marshall Lodge, the viewing room is open (10.00am - 5.00pm 7days) and the cameras are on - but at the moment, the only birds on view are the tits, busying themeselves in their nest box. 

Our other cameras feature tawny and barn owl nests, a bird feeder, and of course the osprey nest.

This year we're welcoming a new interpretation officer, Robert, who will be keeping us up to speed with what's going on throughout the season.

We'll be bringing you updates on the blog, but you can also sign up to our Twitter feed to get news too:

We hope to see you at David Marshall Lodge but if you can't visit, we'll try to keep you involved with our posts here.