Hey there guys, hope you've all had a lovely start to the new year. Just a wee intro from me to say hello. I am currently stepping in as the Visitor Experience Manager to cover the great loss of Chris. I will do my best to keep you posted on the goings on of the Osprey Centre and the reserve.

                                                                                                   

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Fergus. I was working at the OC over two seasons starting in 2016. I have been lucky enough to follow EJ over two breeding seasons. I have seen her through the highs of rearing 3 chicks all the way through fledging and also the lows of removing 3 starved chicks from her nest when Odin didn't return. 

                                                                                       

At the end of that season I left to travel through South America trying to see as much nature as possible. I began my trip in Argentina and travelled north across the Equator and up to the Caribbean coast in Colombia. One of the most amazing countries I visited was Ecuador; home to 45% of all hummingbird species, and it gave me the chance to see boobies for the first time...of the blue-footed persuasion. I took a small boat out to Isla de la Plata (Island of Silver) where we were able to get in touching distance of these beautiful birds. It is best not to bother them though, as their feisty demeanour means you might come away missing a flip flop!

                                                                                 images from galapagosconservation.org

                                                                             Blue-footed Boobies (picture courtesy of galapagosconservation.org)

These areas of untouched beauty gave me a small glimmer of what the UK might have been like before the Second World War. The abundance of nature that surrounded me was astounding. My time travelling made me realise how much nature we have lost in the UK through development and urbanisation of our country. This makes me feel even more privileged to have returned to the pine forest; one of the last wilderness' that we find in the UK.

It is a little colder than I am used to, but I am loving it. My favourite time of the day is the morning frost that gives new definition to the forest. Previously invisible spider webs appear in intricate detail and the chilled haze that slowly rises from the ground creates an eerie stillness that excites me. It's as if the forest is waiting silently in nervous apprehension for the return of bird song. 

                                                                              

I think we will all wait in nervous apprehension for the season to come. Will EJ return to Loch Garten? Will George have another go at fatherhood? Will there be new ospreys on the nest? Or possibly a young white-tail? We can only live in hope, and wait and see. 

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