Sunday, 13 November 2011

Wildlife Watch goes HD!

As some of you may have seen on our Facebook and Twitter accounts, over the course of the last week we have been fitting out some of our cameras with new HD software!

Currently we have Scavenger Cam beaming images via HD and hopefully more camera will be swapped over soon. The images that are coming through are superb and I would definitely recommend popping in and checking them out! :-)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Red Squirrels going global!

Now that the osprey season is more or less over we have decided to give you a rare insight into red squirrels. As some of you may have noticed the live web link that was on our osprey nest has now changed to one of our squirrel feeders at the David Marshall Lodge. These feeders are very popular with red squirrels with them visiting 10+ times a day, you may also be lucky enough to see a pine marten popping in for a quick snack (on peanuts of course!)

These feeders are all part of our conservation efforts to monitor the movement of the red and grey squirrels in the forest. Underneath the boxes are two pieces of sticky tape that collects hair samples from whatever is using the box. This allows us to keep an eye on how the red squirrel is doing and protect it from the bigger American grey squirrel.

Hopefully you will all enjoy this new live link and be able to spot some red squirrels!


Friday, 10 June 2011

So near yet so far!

Hey Folks,

As most of you have now guessed the osprey nest has failed again for the 3rd year running. This is a great disappointment for us all here at the David Marshall Lodge and also many of you who have been following the ospreys closely this season.

This doesn't mean that all is not lost though, we are now hunting the forest high and low for new things to put cameras on and our new Swallow nest cam went in yesterday and will hopefully become stars of the show!

Wildlife Watch is still open and will be throughout the season so make sure that you pop in if you are close by!

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Could this be the end?

Hi All,

As many of you will have seen on our new live web cam our female has not been on the nest incubating her three eggs for the last few days. This comes as a great disappointment to all of us here at the David Marshall Lodge as the eggs were due to start hatching yesterday.

We are still unsure of the reasons why the bird has stopped incubating her eggs, but we are fairly confident that it isn't disturbance as both male and female have been spotted on the nest. Unusually though the female is sitting on the side of the nest and every now and again she will touch one the eggs.

We are trying to say positive but things aren't looking very hopeful, but I will keep you all informed.


Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Live footage of the nest

UPDATE, 5.10pm - the camera is live from 10am - 5pm each day.

If you take a look at the right hand side of the blog you'll see that our images from the nest are no longer stills - we're now streaming live footage! These cracking pictures are being beamed directly from the osprey nest camera.

From 5pm this evening you can also view the nest camera on the main Aberfoyle ospreys website (


A bit battered but doing fine!

Just a quick update to say that after the hurricane strength winds on Monday I am happy to report that our osprey nest and ospreys both stood tight and battled against the winds. Our female is still incubating on the three egss which are due over the weekend. Our male is struggling to fish at the moment due to the ribbles that are being caused by the winds but he is being persistent, which is a good sign!

Monday, 23 May 2011

It must be love!

Well our ospreys are certainly experiencing the Scottish weather today with rain and high speed winds to tackle. It shouldn't be to long now before we start to see the first egg hatching, it will be 37 days on the 30th May ( a week today) since the first egg was laid.

I just thought that I would let you know about something that has been happening over the last few weeks on the nest that shows our new osprey pair are defiantly in love....

As with any other osprey pair its the male that is doing the fishing while the female is incubating the eggs on the nest. As we would expect the male is bringing the fish in headless having taken his share leaving the rest for the female. Usually what should happen is the female would fly away to eat the rest of the fish, while the male does a little incubation. But this is where our tale takes a twist!

Our female is flying off to perch on a nearby tree then bringing back some of the fish to give back to the male, kind of saying "Thanks I've had enough now would you like some more?"! How sweet :-)

P.S All 9 blue tit eggs hatched on Thursday and we currently still have 3 barn owl chicks, who are growing rather rapidly!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

1st there was one, now there are three!!

Just to let you all know that our unringed female osprey laid her 3rd egg of the season on Thursday (28th).

If was a year ago this weekend that the nest site suffered from an invasion by another osprey (who is actually this years male) which resulted in the egg being kicked out of the nest. Fingers crossed this doesn't happen again.

Both male and female are taking on parental responsibility well, with the male bringing in both fish and taking his turn at incubating the eggs!

Don't forget you can watch all the action from the comfort of your home, thanks to our online webcam!


Monday, 25 April 2011

Eggs for Easter!

Hi Folks,
Hot off the press (or the TV screen!) our female osprey has just laid her 2nd egg of the season. It was laid at around 15.30 this afternoon (Monday 25th April). This is around 60 hours after the first which is normal for ospreys.

Unusually our male bird has taken quite a fancy to incubating the eggs!! This is considered the females role.

We will keep you posted over the next few days.


Saturday, 23 April 2011


I can now confirm that our unringed female has laid her first egg! It was spotted at 10.17am this morning (Saturday 23rd April). We believe it was laid at some point over night. Both male and female have been spotted incubating the egg this morning. We will keep you up to date over the next few days to let you know how things are going!

P.S. Also just to let you know our Barn Owl has successfully hatched all her five chicks!

Web cam up and running!

Just to let you all know that you can now watch the happenings of the Aberfoyle ospreys from the comfort of your home. Our online web cam is know up and running meaning up can keep up to date with the ospreys throughout the season. The camera will take a picture of the nest every 2 minutes between the hours of 10am and 5pm. These will automatically upload to the web page.

These images can be viewed at:

We are hoping that our female will be laying eggs soon, she has been showing signs over the last few days, so fingers crossed not long now!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Third time lucky for Aberfoyle Nest?

As many of you are already aware there has been a highly contested battle for the Aberfoyle osprey nest this season. It is only just over 2 weeks since the ospreys returned and we have already had 5 different ospreys on the nest (3 females and 2 males). We currently have a metal ringed male, who was the "trouble maker" last year, who kicked out the eggs at the beginning of May 2010 and a new female who is unusually totally unringed! This new female has been around since Saturday and things are looking promising. There has been lots of nesting material brought in as well as repeated mating taking place. It is a year ago tomorrow (Tuesday) that we had our first egg last year, so we shouldn't have long to wait, fingers crossed!

Monday, 11 April 2011

A new female for Aberfoyle ospreys?

As reported last week, since the return of our "trouble maker" bird from last season, neither yellow OU nor green DX have been spotted on the nest. Instead, the metal-ringed male osprey was seen on his own waiting for the return of last year's female, Red 6A. She still hasn't returned but the male's attention now seems to have been diverted to a new younger model in the shape of a 4 year old female, ringed white HA, who arrived on the nest on Friday. All we know about this new female is that she was hatched in the Tweed Valley, Scottish Borders in 2007. It is not especially unusual for female ospreys to venture slightly further afield from their birthplace in the hunt for a suitable nesting location. Hopefully white HA and metal ring are going to be our resident couple for the season as we have already had 4 different ospreys on the nest in the last 10 days! As many of you know there is also live viewing of Ospreys in the Tweed Valley. You can check out their blog at: P.S One of our barn owl eggs has hatched, only four to go!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Metal Ring Returns!

Today has seen the return of the "trouble maker" male osprey from last year, a metal ringed male. There have been a few unconfirmed sightings of a unringed male flying around the nest over the last few days but today we managed to get a good view of his legs! We aren't quite sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing as this particular male didn't show up until the 1st of May last year and this is what caused all the trouble, as we already had eggs by this point. We are hoping that seen as he has turned up earlier this year the two males can fight it out for the nest and female. He has been showing some unusual behaviour though, acting like he is already trying to kick eggs out the of nest; hopefully this isn't a sign of things to come! Yellow OU hasn't been spotted on the nest for the last two days. She is most likely just having a well deserved rest after her long migration and feeding up ready for the summer!

Yellow OU

Just a quick update on Yellow OU, our female osprey that landed on the nest on Thursday. She was actually ringed in the Scottish Borders in 1999 by our very own Conservation Manager, Dave Anderson before being caught in Spain where a plastic colour ring was added in 2002. This event is described in Roy Dennis' book "A life of Ospreys". We are hoping to get the web cam online sometime this week, although this wont be live footage but a still image loaded onto the web page about every 10 seconds.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Osprey Update 4/4/11

Hi Folks, thought that I would give you all a quick update on how the ospreys are getting on after they returned to their nest on Thursday (31/3). Both Yellow OU and Green DX look like they are starting to settle back in. Our male bird obviously thinks he is going to be the next Carol Smiley as he has been spotted doing a lot of nest interior design over the weekend! He is also proving his worth with his fishing skills as we have had a good amount of trout brought into the nest.

Just some more information on the female that has been spotted on the nest: Yellow OU last bred on the nest in 2005 before being kicked off by Red 6A (our female from the last few years). We believe she was ringed in the Borders in 2003 and also, unusually, winters in Spain. This is where she has been trapped and has been seen every year. I will confirm this soon.

All this sounds lovely and peaceful but over the last few days the unringed male bird from last year has been spotted both on the nest trying to charm our female, and also perching on a tree next to nest!

More blog posts

In a change the way to we blog with year we are going to try and blog at least every couple of days to keep you all updated!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ospreys have landed!

We can now confirm that ospreys have returned! At around 9.45am this morning Yellow OU, our female from a few year back, and Green DX were spotted back on our live nest site! They have already been seen mating and sorting out the nest. Yellow OU has not been seen on this nest site for number of years, and successfully raised chicks here back in 2005. Red 6A our usual female hasn't been seen yet, and neither has our troublemaker from last year, the metal ringed male! I think there are still a few more twists and turns in the story before we even see eggs being incubated. Stay tuned for more info!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Lights, camera, action!

It's that time of year again! Our Osprey cameras are back up and running. Hurray! I have to admit that it brought back a lot of memories from last year when I saw the nest on camera today - Red 6A, Green DX, the intruder metal ringed bird, our change of nests half way through the season, Ozzy, Jemima and Fred and the many fish! I wonder what they have in store for us this year?

We are still awaiting on the arrival of our ospreys (as some of you will know, EJ from Loch Garten has already returned) but hopefully this should be within the next week. The David Marshall Lodge is now fully open so put down your newspapers, finish the housework and pop in and see how we are getting on.

Most of our other live cameras are up and running too, including our Barn Owl Box, where our female is currently sat on 5 eggs!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

2010 Osprey Chick Spotted in Senegal

We have just received this photo of our Blue HV chick that has been spotted in Senegal. It is always good to hear if some of our chicks have made is safely down to West Africa and it from the photo it looks like they have having a better winter than us!

In just over two months hopefully our ospreys will be returning to take up residence for the 2011 season!