Bird's eye view of the osprey

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by jo145 on July 13, 2013

Only a short drive of 2 miles from Dunkeld, in Perthshire we had a lovely afternoon observing many birds but the Osprey was our main reason for visiting. The centre which is run by the Scottish Wildlife trust is open daily from March 1st to October 31st from 10am – 5pm and from November 1st – February 28 only Friday to Sunday from 10.30am – 4pm. Very reasonably priced at £4 for adults, £3.50 for concessions and 37.50 for a family of 4 or 50p for Scottish Wildlife trust members. Toilets were at the rear of the visitor centre. It was wheelchair accessible to the lower hides and visitor centre.

A short walk from the car park is the Visitor Centre where you can buy a coffee, muffin etc and sit and watch all sorts of birds through the viewing window plus the lovely little red squirrels, who I’m sure knew we wanted to take their photos! The Greater spotted woodpeckers weren’t quite so obliging but we managed to take some photos and the very helpful ranger pointed out a redpoll that was feeding. Information was available so you can identify the birds, and they flew in and out all the time we were there.

The reason for our visit though was to see the 26 year old osprey who had returned again to nest and her "little" one. There was a choice of hides with windows, some were open making taking photos easier, and a bit cooler as it was a hot day, although you did need a good camera. Telescopes were set up so you could observe the nest and watch the young osprey stretching its wings. Seating made your wait a bit more comfortable and in one of the hides was a video link, as well as in the main centre so you could get a really good view. Osprey’s have been nesting here since 1969.

There was a shop selling all the usual wildlife gifts and souvenirs to help with covering costs and bird seed etc. Some of the framed photos were taken locally I believe.

Throughout the year there are special events and school parties are welcome, plus arranged walks. Loch of the Lowes is a large freshwater loch with a diverse aquatic flora, fringed by areas of fen, reedbeds and semi-natural woodland.

We didn’t see any of the fallow deer, but we did see the Great crested grebe and her 2 chicks, the rangers were concerned as a large pike had made an attack on the mother but fortunately she saved her babies. The male osprey didn’t catch any fish whilst we were there but they were expecting him to visit at any time.

Well worth a visit, it was enjoyed by young and old alike, by people who are bird enthusiasts and others who were just interested in seeing the Ospreys, a good way to spend some time if you are in the area.

Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve

Dunkeld, PH8 0HH
01350 727337

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