• Osprey Update:16th of May

    Hello bloggers, 

    It looks like things are all going swimmingly in the past week. So long as the eggs are not too fussed in being part of a grape crushing re-enactment performed by Axel! I must apologise and say that I have been late to the game with the osprey intruders. I know it is difficult to believe that I am not constantly peering out the windows in awe of these birds. Believe me, that is what I want to be doing…

    • 16 May 2022
  • I eat my words: Osprey Update 9th May

    It looks like my pessimism has been rewarded with some eggs and lots of fish!  

    Almost as soon as I had uploaded my last blog admonishing these osprey's chances at producing eggs, one appears. I am still a little concerned at their bohemian attitude to incubation but who am I to judge. Over the past week, the initial egg has experienced a direct talon from AX6, trout tug of war and almost being lost amongst new branches…

    • 9 May 2022
  • Loch Garten Osprey Update 3rd May

    Hello, osprey fans, 

    We have been having a busy old time at the centre and I have finally found the time to sit down and try and give my best synopsis of what has been going on at the nest over the past couple of weeks. 

    We saw the arrival of the male AX6 who after a little bit of sky dancing started building up the nest to make it more chicks friendly. He arrived on the 12th of April and spent the first  days alone on the…

    • 3 May 2022
  • Lichen him to an eagle

    Hello! I’m Gareth, and it’s my first year up here in the woods and hills of Abernethy! So far I have loved every minute of my time up here, with plenty to do and see as our evenings get longer.

    One thing I have enjoyed while walking around the forest is stopping, silencing my squeaky boots, and listening to the trees come alive around me like the sea. First, I hear the chatter and songs from the chaffinches…

    • 25 Apr 2022
  • Ewan: Lightly seasoned

    Very much like salt that enhances most things, Ewan has returned to us once again to share in the highs and the lows of the season. This will be his first time watching chicks being reared on camera at Garten. For choosing to keep returning through the quiet seasons, I think he deserves it! I will pass over to him for some much more eloquent words.

    The chirping song of the chaffinch falls from sun-soaked branches. A…

    • 14 Apr 2022
  • The reintroduction of Sonya to the highlands

    It has been a hectic start to the season. We have seen the arrival of white-tailed eagle chicks, a male osprey prospecting our nest and goshawks looking to make important decisions about which nest they will choose. We are keeping our fingers crossed to be able to display the trifecta of breeding raptors across our screens within the centre! 

    It has been exciting and wonderful to see all the new changes at the centre but…

    • 12 Apr 2022
  • Out with the old, in with the new

    The name ‘Loch Garten’ has long been synonymous with ospreys, since that first pioneering pair flew over the bog woodland and, as luck would have it, decided to build a nest here in the 1950s. This fortuitous moment began the recovery of the osprey as a breeding bird in Britain and as a species, they have gone from strength to strength across the country. Since 1959 this site has been pretty much as reliable as rain on…

    • 25 Mar 2022
  • Discoveries Have Been Made

    Hello bloggersphere,

     As I am sure you are aware, we are in the midst of getting ready for a busy and exciting new season at the Nature Centre. Each year we see the sun return, a fresh-faced team and a renewed sense of optimism in what the season holds for us. This year has brought an even greater sense of optimism that could be the planet giving us a sign of good things to come.

    To fully set the scene, I might have to…

    • 17 Mar 2022
  • 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