My name is Lorna and I am the new intern at RSPB Loch Garten, strolling in from Glasgow halfway through the season. Better late than never, eh? I have recently graduated (last week in fact) from the University of Glasgow studying Geography, covering the likes of Biogeographies of Europe, Nature Conservation and Coastal Erosion. However much I loved my degree, there comes a time that you can no longer learn about what’s wrong with the world without wanting to go out and make a difference.
It is here at Loch Garten that I am hoping to make this difference. I believe that engaging people with the beauty of the Caledonian Pine Forest and the incredible wildlife found within it is the key to its conservation. In particular educating children, who perhaps do not appreciate how scarce this nature is, can unlock a whole future of conservationists.
As well as being an avid birdwatcher, I love photography, and luckily for me these two hobbies go hand in hand. Already my camera is full of cute red squirrels, bold siskins and the majestic osprey. Next on the list is the crested tit and crossbill, so fingers crossed I’ll get my photo by the end of the season.
Last summer I was lucky enough to be a residential volunteer at RSPB Loch Lomond: I went for 2 weeks and stayed for 3 months. I loved waking up each day on the reserve and felt that I learnt more in the field than I ever could in a classroom. And so when the opportunity came to live and work at RSPB Loch Garten for 3 months (perhaps I’ll stay for 3 years this time) I simply couldn’t turn down the opportunity. Although I have only been here for a month I already feel settled in. The incredible forest that I see outside the bungalow window is a far cry from the jungle of concrete that I am used to in Glasgow and it makes a nice change to be woken by bird song instead of speeding trains. Already this place feels like a second home, and EJ like an old friend. It’s hard not to become attached to the gracious birds we see every day, and although she has not had a successful nest, I am loving seeing her behaviours and meeting other people who adore her or have only just clapped eyes on her for the first time. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the season brings and to meet other like-minded people here at the centre.
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