LADY’S TREE HAS WON SCOTLAND’S TREE OF THE YEAR AWARD!

This year being the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s 50th Anniversary, we and I’m sure our veteran osprey are thrilled that this iconic Scots Pine tree has won this award. 

LOL Tree JClose

Scots Pine Tree – Copywrite SWT (Jon.Close)

A reminder why this Scots Pine is a worthy Winner:

The Scots Pine is native to the Highlands of Scotland and is the largest and longest-lived tree in the Caledonian Forest. Its conservation status is recovering with regeneration now starting to occur, especially in areas fenced off from browsing deer.

This particular Scots Pine at Loch of Lowes is over 60 feet tall and was chosen by our famous Osprey affectionately known as ‘Lady’, as her home. It also forms the foundations for a variety of other species that depend upon it in many ways. Playing host to Stump Lichens and Scottish Wood Ants that live on and under the bark, a shelter for deer, shade for flowers, home and food for red squirrels and in pride of place up top, our majestic Ospreys that nest in its level branches.

It’s part of a conservation success story! For the past 24 years ‘Lady’ has returned to nest in this Scots Pine tree on our nature reserve at Loch of the Lowes, Dunkeld, Perthshire. During this time she has laid 71 eggs and fledged 50 chicks. This is truly remarkable and the safety provided by the Scots pine in all weather has surely played a part in that success. Our 24hr HD webcam on the tree attracts over 1 million viewers a year in over 160 different countries.

This Scots Pine has been fundamental in the success of our breeding osprey programme here at Loch of the Lowes and as such this tremendous tree and our Osprey deserve to be equally famous.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust would like to thank players of the People’s Postcode Lottery for supporting this competition and helping conservation charities like the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust to protect wildlife and wild places for future generations. Scottish Wildlife Trust would also like to thank all our supporters from reserve staff and volunteers to visitors, web cam watchers and avid blog readers; we hope you continue to enjoy this wonderful Tree and all the nature on, in and around it!

Sarah Close
Visitor Centre Assistant

Posted in Diary 2014 | Tagged , , , |

Deer Family Fun Weekend

Join us this weekend  for Deer quizzes and crafts.
Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd of November 11am – 3pm

Here in Scotland our native Deer are Roe deer, Fallow deer and Red deer.

At the visitor centre this weekend you can find out more about how to identify each of them and what field signs to look out for when on a nature walk.

You may also spot some of them this weekend, but they may not always be quite where you expect………………

Roe and Fallow deer sometimes graze on the shore edge of lochs and they may even take a swim (Like the one below) if the water’s not too cold!!

Roe Deer Buck Swimming in Loch of the Lowes

Roe Deer Buck Swimming in a Loch

If you are really lucky you may even spot a white Fallow doe.
White Fallow can be seen in the Dunkeld area, but to trick you they are often with the other Fallow with the typical red/brown colouring so keep your eyes peeled!

One of Loch of the Lowes more unusual visitors - White hind Fallow Deer

One of Dunkeld’s more unusual visitors – White Fallow doe

As I write this a visitor has also reported a sighting of a (melanistic) black Fallow deer.

For those avid wildlife enthusiasts there are four Fallow Deer colour variations:

  1. Common
    Have a chestnut coat with white spots in the summer and a much darker, unspotted coat in the winter.
    They have a light tail with a black stripe and it is often described as heart shaped or Black/white/black/white/black stripe patterning
  2. Menil
    Have spots more distinct than the common Fallows colouring in summer and no black around the rump patch or on the tail. In winter, spots still clear on a darker brown coat.
  3. Melanistic (black)
    All year black shading to greyish-brown. No light-coloured tail patch or spots
  4. Leucistic (white, but not albino)
    The fawns are cream-coloured; adults become pure white, especially in winter. Dark eyes and nose, no spots

so you really never know what you might spot when you take a walk around our wonderful nature reserve and your local natural environment.

You can even be a Fallow deer for the day and follow the trail to find your Fallow Deer family by answering a number of quiz questions!

So let your friends and family know and head over to Loch of the Lowes this weekend! Don’t forget your waterproof and wellies, but don’t worry if you get a wee bit cold as we have hot drinks to warm you up and a large viewing window where you can watch the wildlife from the warmth of the visitor centre.

This is a Free event, but normal visitor centre charges apply.
Adult £4.00  Concession £2.50  Child 50p  Family £7.50
Your ticket is valid all day
So you can come and go as much as you like between 10.30am-4pm, just show your receipt

Scottish Wildlife Trust Members are FREE, so why not become a member today! Just ask the staff at the Visitor Centre reception for more information

Sarah Close, Visitor Centre Assistant

Posted in Diary 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |

Scottish Tree of the Year – it’s the final countdown!

There are only days left now to register your vote for “Lady’s Tree” in the Scottish Tree of the Year 2014.

The competition, organised by the Woodland Trust, aims to highlight the incredible stories behind some of Scotland’s most iconic trees – none more so we would argue than the tree which has been home to our famous female osprey for nearly a quarter of a century!

See Sarah’s previous blog if you want to know all the reasons why “Lady’s Tree” deserves your vote.

Online voting closes this Sunday, 26th October so if you haven’t cast your vote yet then do so now by going to http://bit.ly/TreeoftheYear - Please note, one vote is allowed per email address.

The result of Scottish Tree of the Year 2014 will be announced on Thursday 30th October at an award reception in the Scottish Parliament. The winner will not only receive the Scottish Tree of the Year trophy but will also be put forward as Scotland’s entry into the European Tree of the Year competition for 2015.

So what are you waiting for? Get voting!

Jonathan

ladys-tree-4

Posted in Diary 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , |

Secret World of Fungi

Looking for a fun day out for all the family during October half-term?…

Coming up this weekend we have a fungi-filled weekend of activities which should appeal to any budding mycologists out there.

We will have information displays in the visitor centre to help you identify mushrooms and toadstools in your local area, as well as fungi-themed quizzes, colouring sheets and craft activities to keep the children entertained.

So why not come along and get your “inking” caps on?

Secretworldoffungi-page-0

Posted in Diary 2014 | Tagged , , , |

Osprey Withdrawals? Who to watch this winter

Its been a very mixed year for ospreys in the UK and not without a few surprises- such as the one male, two nests saga at FCS /RSPB Aberfoyle- and tragedy- such as the loss of the well known female and her chicks at Tweed Valley Project main nest. This of course highlights that you can never take ospreys for granted and that there is always something new to learn about their behaviour and conservation.

However, overall the summer weather was kind and there has been a bumper crop of chicks fledged across the UK. It is especially exciting to see increasing numbers in England and Wales, with ospreys spreading out to recolonize more of their historical range- may it continue! An excellent guest Blog on the Dyfi Osprey site : http://www.dyfiospreyproject.com/blog highlights some key issues about ospreys in the UK and how we need keep an eye on the big picture for this species as a whole- they are not out of the woods entirely yet and there is a great deal we all can and should be doing to help them.

So as we were not lucky enough to have chicks hatched at Loch of the Lowes this year and we therefore have no satellite tracking data to keep us nail-biting, we thought you might be sharing our osprey withdrawal symptoms. Many of our sister projects and colleagues in osprey conservation have tracked birds this year, and who knows what fascinating insights and new information we might all learn this winter.

So here’s a summary of who to watch over the winter:

Roy Dennis’ Highland Foundation for Wildlife has four birds being tracked: adult females Beatrice  and Green J wintering in Spain, adult male Blue XD is Senegal, and our favourite  Rothiemurchus (born 2005 and a regular visitor to Lowes) in Senegal.

Keilder Osprey Project tagged two chicks this year: “7H” who is in Morocco, and “UV” who is in Portugal- will they move on or stay?

Aberfoyle Ospreys tagged two chicks, Lonaig who is also in Portugal and Murrin who is awol currently.

Tweed Valley Osprey Project has tagged a young bird called “FK8″ in the Scottish Borders- not much news yet of this bird who seemed to hang around late this autumn.

The Lake District Osprey Project has two birds currently tracked: “14″ from 2013 who is still in Equatorial Guinea, and “8A” from 2014 who is in Mauritania after a successful first migration.

Rutland Water Ospreys is still tracking “30( 05)” on her third successful migration – interestingly along almost exactly the same route each time.

RSPB Loch Garten has three birds tracking: Breagha from 2013 in Senegal, and this years two chicks Seasca ( awol over the Bay of Biscay) Millicent who has settled in Senegal/Mauritania border area near the town of Richard Toll- very close to our Blue YD’s wintering grounds.

So, how many of these birds will survive the winter? What interesting exploits will they get up to? Will any be seen and photographed there? Will we get any other reports of ringed UK birds sent in- even our missing birds Blue YD and Blue 44? Let’s hope so!

 

Posted in Diary 2014 |

VOTE FOR LADY’S TREE AS SCOTLAND’S TREE OF THE YEAR

We have been shortlisted for Scotland’s Tree of the year

As of 8th September voting has commenced for Scottish Tree of the Year! You have from now until 26th October to make that vote count. So what are you waiting for, tell all your friends and family and get voting! (NB One vote per individual email address will be accepted.)

LOL Tree JClose

Scots Pine Tree – Copywrite SWT (J.Close)

Why Vote for this Scots Pine tree?

The Scots pine is native to the Highlands of Scotland and is the largest and longest-lived tree in the Caledonian Forest. Its conservation status is recovering with regeneration now starting to occur, especially in areas fenced off from browsing deer.

It forms the foundations for a variety of species that depend upon it in many ways. Playing host to Stump Lichens and Scottish Wood Ants that live on and under the bark, a shelter for deer, shade for flowers, home and food for red squirrel and in pride of place up top, our majestic Ospreys that nest in its level branches.This particular Scots pine at Loch of Lowes is over 60 feet tall and was chosen by our famous Osprey affectionately known as ‘Lady’, as her home. 

It’s part of a conservation success story! For the past 24 years this female osprey has returned to nest in this Scots pine tree on our nature reserve at Loch of the Lowes, Dunkeld, Perthshire. During this time she has laid 71 eggs and fledged 50 chicks. This is truly remarkable and the safety provided by this Scots pine in all weathers has surely played a part in that success.   Our 24hr HD webcam on the tree attracts over 1 million viewers a year in over 160 different countries. So I think this tree and our Osprey deserve to be equally famous.

LOL Osprey family SWT

Osprey Family 11th July 2013, copyright SWT

LOL JClark osprey

copyright John Clark – SWT use only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, as you can see this Scots pine has been fundamental in the success of our breeding osprey programme here at Loch of the Lowes and with this year being the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s 50th Anniversary, we and I’m sure our veteran osprey would be thrilled if it won Scottish Tree of the Year. The winner will receive the Scottish Tree of the Year trophy and will be entered into the European Tree of the Year competition.

Please vote using this link: http://bit.ly/TreeoftheYear

You can also vote in person at Loch of the Lowes visitor centre, please ask at reception.

The Visitor Centre and Shop is open daily from 10:00am-5pm.

A huge thank you to all our supporters from reserve staff and volunteers to visitors, web cam watchers and avid blog readers, we hope you continue to enjoy this wonderful Tree and all the nature on, in and around it!

Sarah Close
Visitor Centre Assistant

Posted in Diary 2014 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , |