but she loves everything else…

A weekend of wildlife

It has to be said that I’m one of those jammy people that love where they live.  I love the fact that I can walk out of my front door and be on a farm track leading to a paddock full of horses within seconds, a field of Highland Cows in minutes and have the beautiful River Tay within skipping distance. I love that within an hour I can be in the middle of Edinburgh or centre of Glasgow. I love that the Highlands of Scotland are on my doorstep and their great outdoors are my playground.

I live in Perthshire.. you should come and visit… but, come quietly, dont tell everyone or they will all want to come too!

I want to tell you about my adventures last Sunday, a gloriously sunny day with a little nip in the air.  I dont know anyone that doesn’t like getting rugged up and heading out for walk to take in some fresh air, see some beautiful scenerey and on this mission to see our world famous local Osprey who comes each year to nest only a few miles away.

Lady, our local Osprey has been coming to nest near Dunkeld in Scotland for the past 22 years, she is the oldest breeding Osprey in the UK and to be quite honest is just blooming marvellous.  This was my first visit to the Loch of the Lowes Scottish Wildlife Trust visitors centre and it certainly wont be the last.

Anyhow, I’m getting ahead of myself.  After the aformentioned layering up, packing the picnic.. flask of tea and sweet treats included of course we set off for Dunkeld where we would start a nice 8km loop walk up to the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve.  Dunkeld is around 30 minutes drive from Perth so really accessibly from anywhere in Scotland.  Car packed and backpacks on we headed up towards Birnam Golf Club up and over the hill to the east of the village.

Along the way we had a fab view right over the golf course towards the loch, the track was easy to walk, perfect for families and bikes too if you fancied a not to technical ride.  As well as enjoying the sunshine and blethering we also kept our eyes peeled for activity up above, you often see the Osprey or other birds of prey swooping about in our neck of the woods.  Thankfully we had mums trusty binoculars to spot any suspects.

So on we toddled finding a lovely bench for our picnic along the side of the loch.  The closer we got to the centre we became aware of lots of well placed bird boxes and feeders attracting all manner of furry critters, infact there is also SquirrelCam for those city dwellers who want a taste of the countryside.  As well as many garden varieties of feathereed friends we were also able to spot 3 Woodpeckers.  I was blown away, I’ve heard Woodpeckers in the wild before but have never seen them, normally I’m either too loud or too impatient! They were beautiful… along with the 3 Red Squirrels playing the feeders they could have kept my attention for hours.

We headed into one of the three hides at the loch edge.  All three hides have binoculars to view the Osprey nest and other wildlife out on the loch, what a stunning view.  A panoramic view of the loch greeted us with many a camera trained on the lone nest high above where Lady the Osprey and her dark feather friend held court.

We spent ages spying on these glorious creatures, from in the hide watching to back in the visitors centre glued to the live webcams which stream from the nest.  On Saturday night Lady layed her first egg, I’ve just heard this evening that egg no. 2 arrived this afternoon so will be shifting promptly from writing this post to clicking on the OspreyCam for a good noesy at what’s been going on.

I can highly suggest this beautiful walk in Highland Perthshire as well as visiting to find out more about the Loch of the Lowes Osprey and local wildlife.  Take your time, bring a picnic, chill out by the loch and breath in the fresh air, the perfect Sunday stroll in my opinion.