Hey guys, here is a little update for you giving you an idea of what our volunteers get up when they are not at the centre. I would also like to caveat this by saying that Liz wasn’t made to write this under duress. All the lovely things she is saying about our team are her own words!
Hi I’m Liz and I am a RSPB Volunteer. Three years ago, I discovered the volunteer opportunity at Loch Garten in the Cairngorms. I have just completed my fourth week of volunteering there since I discovered it in 2017, and I am already planning my next visit! Loch Garten Osprey Centre and its surroundings are wonderful, and I have been contemplating what it is that keeps drawing me back to this special place.
The forest itself is ancient, magical, and full of life. I feel held when I am in the forest, and the joy of pedalling through it (I’m a mountain biker) and coming across a deer or listening to the bird song. Even spotting a bird of prey or just soaking up the abundance of trees is a privilege and a pleasure.
A place is magical for many reasons and people make places. The staff and volunteers that work at RSPB Loch Garten are also very special. They are the most welcoming bunch I have ever met and are a pleasure to spend time with. They are my RSPB family and I look forward to catching up with them all each time I visit. They are superstars and work really hard all season to ensure that every visitor has a positive memorable experience.
The forest is full of wildlife. I have swum in Loch Garten at sunset with bats swooping for insects above my head. I saw my first scottish crossbill this April sitting high up in the pines with deer are all around. The amazingly cute and funky crested tit is a little elusive but can be seen with a little perseverance and a bit of good luck. Red squirrels are can be regularly seen playing around the centre.
And then there are the osprey. Magnificent birds of prey unlike any other. Sadly, this year it does not look like EJ will be returning to the nest however it is a spectacular nest and is prime real estate for the next generation of ospreys. I look forward to meeting the new occupants in 2020.
My most recent trip in April 2019 was made extra special after I got in touch with Cairngorm Wild Swimmers to arrange to join them for their regular Sunday morning dip in Loch Morlich. A friendly bunch to swim with in a spectacular, if not, slightly chilly loch surrounded by snow topped mountains. Another highlight was a trip to a badger hide with a local wildlife group. Five badgers appeared throughout the evening and were a sight to behold.
Each time I visit Loch Garten and its surroundings, the less I want to leave. Its fantastic and so spacious and lush. Its amazing for all the above reasons and more. Its an outdoor playground providing opportunities for bird watching, walking, cycling, ski-ing, swimming and much more. I recommend you visit ,and when you do, I hope you will love it as much as I do. And make sure you visit the Osprey Centre and say hello to the lovely staff there from me. x
A lovely blog, Liz, at a time when you must be feeling so sad that EJ did not return. She made LG the special place since she arrived to nest in 2005. She was Loch Garten and is so sadly missed by many.
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