Visitors to the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre in Aberfoyle are in for a special treat with the arrival of three healthy osprey chicks.
The centre’s viewing cameras, which capture live footage from nests around the area, have revealed an unknown pair of ospreys which have taken over the nest from last year’s pair, Drunkie and Katrine.
Footage has shown the ospreys enduring rain, snow and baking heat to raise three well-fed chicks, which are likely to be around the nest for at least another month.
Cameras have also been trained on a peregrine nest containing four feisty male chicks, which have now fledged, and a barn owl box with two large fluffy youngsters.
Jenni Fulton, the wildlife information and education officer for Forest Enterprise Scotland and RSPB Scotland, said: “The osprey chicks are doing great, and are being well fed with the trout and pike brought in by their father.
“Neither of this year’s adults is ringed, so we don’t know anything about their history, but they are certainly doing a good job of parenting.
“The osprey chicks are still too young to fledge, but you can already see them moving around the nest begging for food. All going well they should be viewable on the nest well into August. After that it’s their long migration to north and west Africa where, if they make it, they’ll spend the next two years.
“The peregrines have also been really interesting this summer, as the female made a big effort to make sure all the chicks were fed, not just the biggest and strongest. It made feeding time a little hectic! Although they’ve fledged now, we’ve got some great highlights to show people.”
A bird feeder camera is also showing lots of footage of other fledglings, including a family of great tits and two young woodpeckers, with red squirrels also regularly on view.
Special events such as a bat walk, will be taking place this summer at the Lodge Forest Visitor Centre. For full information and to book, please contact 0300 067 6615 or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/LodgeAberfoyle.
The wildlife viewing project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland and Forest Enterprise Scotland.