• A Dead Good Story: Deadwood in 5 Photos

    Today is the day that we are saying goodbye to our two rangers Thomas and Heather who have been out diligently patrolling the forest, talking to visitors on the reserve and making sure that the natural heritage of Abernethy is protected. It has been wonderful having them on our team and particularly for myself as Heather is always sending me wonderful photos she has taken on her patrols of the reserve. Heather had been…

    • 1 Nov 2021
  • Work is boring

    Apologies for the title, but I couldn’t resist. Anyone visiting the car park over the last few days will have noticed that we have some large machinery in a cordoned-off area. This is to allow the drilling of a borehole that will be used to provide water, enabling handwash basins and flushing toilets at both the Nature Centre and entrance kiosk. The work associated with getting running water to the centre will be taking…

    • 26 Oct 2021
  • The end is nigh

    We have reached the end of another season at the Nature Centre. This has been one of the strangest seasons that I have ever presided over. We finally opened our new visitor centre(hurray) in the midst of a pandemic (not so hurray). The ERDF fund that was awarded in 2019 is now coming to fruition and it was exciting to see people inside the newly refurbished building after such a long wait. Outside of all the unusual changes;…

    • 8 Sep 2021
  • Swifts, the Best Bird

    3rd-11th July 2021 is Swift Awareness Week. You can help our swifts by submitting sightings at www.swiftmapper.org.uk. May your summer skies be always full of swifts.

    On a long evening in late July, high above the treetops the hot and heavy air will all of a sudden fill with unearthly screams, tumbling against each other and swelling to crescendo, fading to a last ghostly echo trailing behind as dark shapes streak by imp…

    • 10 Jul 2021
  • Blog Cotton

    We bring you another informative blog, as Iona introduces one of the reserve's seasonal spectaculars: bog cotton!

    As we finally transition from a very wet May into the start of the Scottish summer, the reserve is starting to come to life. Little fledglings are starting to explore their local patch, invertebrates are making the most of the warm summer air and the undergrowth is bursting into full colour. Across the…

    • 28 Jun 2021
  • Sonya finds a new home in the Highlands

    Hi. I’m Sonya, the newest recruit to the team here at Loch Garten.  

    I have been here for just over a week so far and am absolutely blown away by the beauty of the Abernethy forest, the lochs, the rivers, the mountains the moors, the wildlife.... what a special place! I am really enjoying learning about the incredible work that is being done here by the RSPB to restore this landscape to what it once was and feel very…

    • 27 Jun 2021
  • Me Gan north for the summer

    Hello everyone! My name is Megan, and I have joined the Visitor Team to assist in the running of the newly refurbished nature centre here at Abernethy. I have been visiting the Cairngorms for as long as I can remember. It felt like a second home here, and now with my parents having moved up to the area, it feels even more so. The Cairngorms has been very influential in shaping my views of the landscape, especially as…

    • 26 Jun 2021
  • Golden Aye

    Rishane gives us the inside line on one of Loch Garten's other amazing birds, the goldeneye.


    It’s been an exciting few weeks here at Loch Garten. The brand new centre opening, the lifting of travel restrictions, and two ospreys back on the nest. But nature, as great as it can show itself to be, remains unpredictable. Whether we like it or not. Our two ospreys have deserted our beloved nest. And after digging out…

    • 7 Jun 2021
  • Osprey, go away, come again another day

    Hey bloggers,

     Going to try and give an update as best as I understand it. Feel free to leave comments and correct me if needs be. My normal days off are Monday and Tuesday so I was not aware of what was going on with the nest as when I left on Sunday both birds were still in and around the nest. It looks like we have had a couple of days with fleeting visits to the nest and birds still being seen in the area but not necessarily…

    • 12 May 2021
  • Everything will be o-Kai

    Hi everyone! My name is Kai, and I am so excited to get stuck into my new position here at Abernethy as a volunteer visitor experience assistant. Hopefully, I will become a friendly familiar face to the locals and frequent nature centre, visitors.

    I graduated last year from the University of Aberdeen with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology, focussed on parasites, disease, and a bit of wildlife ecology. I spent a few weeks…

    • 5 May 2021
  • With Great Nature, Comes Great Rishponsibility

    Hi everyone! Rishane here!

    Most of you will probably not remember me since most of you haven’t even met me! Yes, I’m back for another season at Loch Garten only this time I’ve levelled up. I’m a big gal now and will take on the duties of an RSPB Visitor Experience Officer after volunteering for the strangest 6 months of our lives.

    When I arrived last year as a newbie, I was excited to assist the…

    • 3 May 2021
  • inTomitable force! Hello from Thomas

    I first came to the Abernethy forest and the Osprey Centre as a child. I remember the trip well, walking up to the centre through the towering scots pine trees and the anticipation as I entered the dark, cool hide, hoping to glimpse the famous osprey pair. Although we had come to view this wonderful bird of prey, the scene imprinted in my mind was the spectacular forest. Gnarled scots pines, hanging lichens and dappled…

    • 2 May 2021
  • A Ewan-win situation

    Here's me, very excited to be driving the RSPB Landrover out onto Abernethy to help out with a bit of fieldwork last autumn.

    Here's me, very excited to be driving the RSPB Landrover out onto Abernethy to help out with a bit of fieldwork last autumn.

    Hello (again)! Ewan here, and I am delighted to be writing a new introductory blog about myself for you all, as it means I am back for another season at Loch Garten! This time 12 months ago I was trying to do this job while working from home, trying to entertain myself, and hopefully all of…

    • 27 Apr 2021
  • Agadoo doo doo, push pineapple, shake the tree, I...o...na...na...na glad to see Abernethy

    Hello! My name is Iona and I’m so glad to be actually experiencing Abernethy for myself! Having worked as part of the membership team for the RSPB, I was often talking to the public about the amazing conservation work at this reserve and how important it is to protect the species which call Abernethy home. I have worked all across central Scotland, engaging with members of the public and telling them all about the RSPB…

    • 26 Apr 2021
  • May the 1st Be With You

    Hello bloggersphere,

     I thought I should give you a wee update now that we have a clearer idea about how our season is going to look. Following quite a pessimistic year we now have the optimism of summer to look forward to. Our team for the season are in place and will be starting a little later than usual due to the aggressive flock of flamingos that have barricaded the entrance of the centre for the past 12 months. Did…

    • 12 Mar 2021
  • Ain't no montane high enough!

    The montane plateau is sometimes an area that is overlooked on our reserve. Which is ironic as it sits at over 1000m and overlooks everything. If you are a keen walker, there are four Munros on Abernethy in the form of Bynack More, Cairngorm, Beinn Mheadhion, Ben Macdui. Ben Macdui is the highest peak and is the second-highest point in Scotland after Ben Nevis of course. The montane terrain has more in common with parts…

    • 17 Dec 2020
  • Restructuring our perceptions


    Why does Abernethy take so many peoples breath away when they first enter? Even those with little grounding in nature are able to sense a difference in this natural woodland when they first set eyes on it. Trees well-spaced with hanging bows only seen on the oldest of pines, the sunlight dapples the ground while breaking through the spacious canopy and lushest green plants grow thick on the ground below. This combination…

    • 27 Nov 2020
  • Everything happened and nothing happened

     Tradition would dictate that we have a round-up blog of the season where we talk about the goings-on of the centre. It doesn’t seem right to do that this year but at the same time, it feels like we have so much to tell you. This year has been a paradox; our closed centre became more open, our team couldn’t work but created more, we had fewer visitors but felt more connected, we had no ospreys but our season was longer…

    • 9 Nov 2020
  • Does the capercaillie rule the roost?

    Good afternoon folks, 

    I can't believe that's a week gone by again! I hope you are all well and staying safe. 

    An informative blog for you today, from Ewan, all about our four species of grouse on Abernethy, but before that, just to say there's still no news form our osprey nest I'm afraid - birds are in the area but no nesting action unfortunately. Now, over to Ewan...

    There are four types of grouse in…

    • 13 May 2020
  • It's the little things...

    Good afternoon, folks. I hope you are all well. Do you have sunshine? We do, and boy, doesn't it make a difference!?

    This week we have a blog from Anna, one of our team who has not been furloughed, but before I hand over to her, just to let you know that although ospreys are still being seen in the area by members of staff when they are out on their fire and buildings checks, I'm afraid there hasn't been any activity…

    • 6 May 2020
  • The Value of Stillness

    A treat for you this afternoon, with a beautifully written blog from Ewan. I hope his words resonate with you, as they did with me. And I hope you're all staying safe and keeping positive. Now, over to Ewan...

    In many ways, it feels like not much has happened over the last few weeks, and like not much has been achieved. But somehow, also, it feels like my wheels have been in constant motion, spinning relentlessly…

    • 29 Apr 2020
  • Wild Encounters

    Hi folks, like many other organisations, the RSPB has furloughed some of its staff during the Covid-19 crisis, which is why it's me who'll be posting any blogs for the foreseeable future, as Fergus has been furloughed for a wee while.

    So, you've already met Rishane, and here she is again, with some of her beautiful photos of species she has seen around Abernethy since she arrived. Many of these pictures were taken…

    • 22 Apr 2020
  • A virtual walk in the woods

    Here is a walk that Ewan took through the forest before our season began at Abernethy. I hope his words remind us of what is still out there, waiting for us to appreciate it again.

    Although it began with a wintry shower, the sun soon came out on a bright spring day over Abernethy. With visitor operations suspended here at Loch Garten and across the RSPB, the 2020 Nature Team face some of the uncertainty that many will…

    • 6 Apr 2020
  • The Ancient Art of Stu

    Here is a wee blog from Stuart telling you about his journey into conservation. He has been with us since last year through thick and thin. Hopefully, his positivity will lift all our spirits today! 

    My name is Stuart. Originally, I hail from Warrington; a large town in the north-west of England. Wedged between Manchester and Liverpool, it makes up part of a large urban sprawl that covers much of north-west England. Growing…

    • 1 Apr 2020
  • A journey back home

    Next on our list, we have the wonderful Bethia of Nethia. A local lady with a worldly perspective. 

    Being a student of science, it seems that writing creatively is no longer something that comes naturally to me. My imagination has been stamped out by facts, figures, and doomsday statistics. So when we were told to write introductions about ourselves, I pictured a short and to-the-point paragraph – name, background, why…

    • 30 Mar 2020