Monday, 6 August 2012

We have lift off!!

Strathard News - July 2012

 As many other osprey sites are reporting both of our osprey chicks have left the next. The oldest made their first flight on the 22nd July and sticking with tradition the next chick left on the 24th July, 48 hours after the first, exactly the same amount of time between them hatching!

We have seen both chicks on numerous occasions returning to the nest to receive food from both male and female. It won't be long before all of this years osprey family are on their way to West Africa for winter.

In other news, our ospreys, who are already in celebrities in our eyes, have become local icons by appearing on the front cover the of the Strathard News. Regular project updates features in the paper, but it is great to see, this striking images by volunteer Annette Reed making the front cover.  

Monday, 16 July 2012

Introducing Tony and Tia Maria!

Well we can confidently say that over the last few weeks the weather has not been great, but on Friday 13th July things weren’t looking to bad. Just about the perfect weather to go ringing ospreys. Our three osprey chicks had now become two, as due to the menacing weather we have unfortunately lost our youngest chick.

Gently does it. Both chicks are carefully loaded into a
bag to be lowered down the tree. 

Our chicks were now six weeks old and it was time for them to have their individual leg rings fitted. As we climbed the tree the heavens open, fortunately this was short lived so the chicks didn’t get too wet. Once both chicks were lowered to the ground, Dave Anderson (FCS Conservation Manager) was on hand to show how the leg rings are fitted to some of our volunteers, who had been specially invited as thanks for all the hard work they put in at DML.

Firstly, two leg rings are fitted, a blue plastic one called a Darvic, this year the chicks were fitted with blue ring TM and TN and a metal BTO ring. Both rings will be used in the future to help identify the birds both on migration to West Africa and when they hopefully return to the Trossachs in a few years time. Once this is complete the chicks are weighed and measurements taken and this confirmed that we had a boy and a girl! Because of this the volunteers decided that we should call our chicks Tia Maria and Tony.

Tia Maria all done, with both leg rings fitted.
 Tony and Tia Maria will fledge once they are seven weeks old, when they will begin to build up strength before setting off on migration at about 12 weeks old. 

Introducing the 2012 Osprey Chicks - Tony & Tia Maria

Friday, 13 July 2012

Buzzard is a Go-Go....

For the last few weeks we have watched our single Buzzard chick very quickly grow up and also battle with a range of Scottish weather! The chick which was tagged a few weeks ago as Purple/White 29 was one of a two chicks but unfortunately the second chick died only a few days of hatching.

This video clip is the last footage we have of the chick! It looks like Mum is giving it one last clean before it leaves!

We wish the chick Good Luck and will hopefully spot it around the Trossachs soon.

In other news on Friday 13th, we will be fitting the leg rings to our remaining two osprey chicks. This can be viewed live on camera from the David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre from around 11.30am.

For those of you that don’t know we lost out youngest chick last week, we believe due to the wet weather that we have been experiencing over the last few weeks.

Also, just to let you know that we are currently experiencing problem with live streaming our HD Osprey camera over the web, so for the time being we are bringing you one of our red squirrel feeders. So why not sit back to a cuppa and see if you can spot on the those red fluffy creatures or maybe even a elusive pine marten! It can be viewed at:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Chicks galore at David Marshall Lodge Wildlife Watch!

buzzard with chick
New buzzard chicks head just visible above the nest
 It's all go at the Wildlife Watch at David Marshall Lodge. First we had a buzzard chick hatch yesterday and if that wasn't enough, a second appeared today. Not to be outdone, our ospreys also got in on the act with a chick hatching this morning!

On our live cameras here at DML the osprey mother has been seen giving her new arrival it's first feed with some freshly caught rainbow trout.

Meanwhile in the buzzard nest, which is in close proximity to the visitor centre, the new family are settling in, mum is female A9 whilst dad who is untagged, is doing a great job bringing in fresh food for his young. It is possible there may be more eggs in the nest as mum is still showing signs of incubating, however we cannot be certain at this time.

We will keep you updated on the progress of our new arrivals and pictures of the chicks will be available via the FC Scotland Facebook page.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

DML gears up for Wild about the Forest Week

scottish biodiversity week 2012
David Marshall Lodge hosts a fantastic week of events and activities starting this Saturday to celebrate Scottish Biodiversity Week.

The week long showcase entitled Wild about the Forest Week will see Forestry Commission Scotland and partners present an action packed array of activities and events to highlight the wild goings on in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park.

As well as week long activities including "Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels", the "Children's Discovery Trail" and displays from Great Trossachs Forest and other local conservation projects within David Marshall Lodge, each day will have a themed event taking place in the forest park.

Monday sees a Trossachs Water Vole Minibus tour giving visitors and insight into the reintroduction of these bank dwelling creatures into the forest park. This is followed on Tuesday by "The Great Trossachs Forest Project" where visitors will be given the opportunity to find out more about this groundbreaking project.

The week continues with "Guide in the Hide" wildlife activities on Wednesday and Friday, followed by "The Great Trossachs Minibus Tour" on Saturday, where visitors will experience stories past, present and future about the woods around Loch Katrine.

This varied programme of events will give visitors with an interest in nature, wildlife, woodlands and the environment a chance to see evidence of the fantastic biodiversity work being undertaken in Queen Elizabeth Forest Park and the surrounding area.

For more information, visit the event listing on the FC Scotland facebook page.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Buzzard Cam now up and running, whilst Ospreys hopeful of chicks

Female buzzard incubating
An image from our buzzard cam showing
the female A9 incubating
 Great news from the Wildlife Watch @ The Lodge. We now have the Buzzard Cam up and running, beaming fantastic quality images into the viewing area. The buzzards have been busy with the female A9 now incubating eggs (see left).

The Ospreys have also been in breeding mode and we have been viewing images of our birds on nest 3 incubating also. All being well we could see the first chicks of 2012 around the end of May, so fingers crossed.

Not so much happening on our other nests 1 and 2. Although ospreys have been spotted at the nest sites, none have laid claim to them as yet.

Closer to The Lodge we have had lots of visits from our resident pine martens who are more than happy to take advantage of the well stocked squirrel feeders around the visitor centre.

We hope to get the Osprey Cam up and running shortly to add to the images being viewed from the buzzard cam and we will keep you posted on progress.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

DML celebrates Osprey's return

The live Osprey nest viewing room at David Marshall Lodge
The live Osprey nest viewing room
at David Marshall Lodge

A special event to celebrate the Osprey's Return was held at David Marshall Lodge last Saturday (21st April). Over 100 people made their way to The Lodge to take part in the day.

Experts were on hand to answer questions and provide information about ospreys, whilst our visitors enjoyed a range of activities and competitions including the Osprey Migration Game, Osprey Fishing Challenge, Osprey themed crafts and the Osprey Challenge.

Winner of the Osprey Challenge on the day was Evie Yanik-Corbelt who won a copy of Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis.

The day gave our Osprey fans a chance to find out more about these facsinating birds of prey and given the recent activity in and around our nest sites so far, we are hopeful of a successful 2012 season.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Ospreys beginning to make their appearance known

male osprey
Male Osprey
We have been studying our three cameras closely here at the Wildlife Watch, hoping to catch a glimpse of our Ospreys to see what they are up to. Although no activity has been noted on camera 2 since the beginning of April, our Green DX Male has been spotted on the nest on camera 1 twice in the past week.

Camera 3 has also seen regular activity with a Green ringed Female and an un-ringed Male appearing on the nest on a number of occasions. This looks very promising as we have witnessed a number of mating attempts. The female spends most of her day on the nest only departing when the male arrives with fish.

Our Pine Marten friends have also been making good use of the squirrel feeders onsite and have been regular visitors this week.

Good signs and a fair bit of nest activity from our birds. Hopefully we will be seeing a lot more of them in the coming weeks.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Osprey's return for 2012 Season!

As many of you may have read the Aberfoyle Osprey season is just about to begin. This year for the first time ever we are showing three live nests, two of which are being shown through HD. We have already had ospreys on all three nests and signs of attempted mating between pairs.

On nest site 1 (the nest that we have shown in previous years) we have already seen the return of Red 6A (our female from 2006 - 2010) who failed to return to the nest at the beginning of the 2011 season, but was seen on site later in the year. She seems to have been joined by a metal ringed male, whom we presume is the infamous male from the last few years.

For those of you that want to follow the action minute by minute we will be tweeting @aberfoyleosprey and also Facebooking at We are also hoping to get the webcam link up and running this week, sorry for the delay in this :-)

Other sightings and live cameras currently on show at the David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre include Barn Owls, Red Squirrels and for the last few weeks we have been catching a glimpse of a Pine Marten, but we are keeping our eyes fixed on the osprey nests as another season at Aberfoyle begins!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Not Long Now!

Believe it or not in just over 2 months our ospreys should be back with us and we will be at the start of a brand new season. The are lots of improvements planned for the David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre and because of this some of our outside areas/car park is currently closed off to visitors. The visitor centre itself though is still open (11th - 19th & 23rd - 26th Feb 10am - 4pm and 1st March, open 7 days) and while be eagerly anticipate the arrival of our ospreys we are seeing plenty of Red Squirrels and even a Pine Marten on our feeder cams.

There are some new exciting plans this year, which I will tell you more about soon. We were out last week checking that all our ospreys nest had survived some of the harshest winds for many years and while there is odd one or two needing a bit of work, on the whole things aren't looking to bad. All the electrics were also put in last week and hopefully we will be continuing our change over to HD, I'll keep you posted.