Loch of the Lowes in PThe Scottish Wildlife Trust's Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve, near Dunkeld, is one of the most spectacular sites in Scotland for viewing wild Ospreys on the nest. Ospreys have been visiting Loch of the Lowes since 1969 and have now successfully bred on the reserve for 7 years in a row, rearing a total of 19 chicks. The reserve, visitor centre, and a number of hides, are open between April and September each year when the Ospreys are in residence. During this period, the birds are kept under observation by teams of staff and volunteers, particularly if there are eggs or young birds in the nest, when they are kept under 24-hour surveillance. The visitor centre at Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve includes a multi-media and hands-on exhibition area, interpretation spaces, video and audio displays, and a number of television monitors linked to wildlife hotspots around the loch and surrounding area. The hides on the reserve are fitted out with high-powered binoculars and telescopes to ensure that visitors get the best view of the birds as possible.
Each year, the young Ospreys which have been born at Loch of the Lowes are removed from the nest and ringed. This process allows the Scottish Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers involved to get close to the birds, and ensures that the birds can be identified and tracked wherever they go. Scottish Ospreys have been known to spend the winter months as far away as Senegal and Gambia on the west coast of Africa, before returning to Scotland to breed during the spring and summer months.
The Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve welcomes up to 30,000 visitors every year.