The Osprey in the Scotland
Aviemore is arguably Scotland’s premier skiing resort in the winter months, but during the summer the area is visited by large numbers of tourists hoping to see one of Scotland’s biggest summer attractions, the very beautiful fish hawk or to give it its real name, the osprey. The osprey was extinct in Scotland since 1916 but a pair started breeding naturally at Loch Garten in 1959. These birds were thought to have come from Scandinavia (RSPB) today there are around 200 pairs here in Scotland. They can be seen at many places in Scotland, Loch of the Lowe’s in Perthshire, Aberfoyle in the Trossachs, Glentress and Kailzie gardens in the Borders but the most famous of all is the RSPB reserve at Loch Garten in the Highlands. This is were the revival started back in 1959.
There are a few places were it is possible to get quite close to the birds as they catch the fish that they eat. Most of the lochs in central Scotland will be visited daily by an osprey looking for a meal. In some cases hides have been placed strategically to alow the photographer a closer view of this fishing activity. The fishery at Rothiemurchus is one place but a local man in Aviemore called Gordon MacLeod has a small loch at Aviemore where sitting in the hide you are just 20 meters from the birds as they dive for the fish he can be contacted on 07735388808
The osprey is a large bird standing at nearly two feet tall with a wingspan of six feet and a diet of only fish. The birds are generally monogamous, its thought that they pair for life. They lay three eggs and they average 1.56 young per nest (Roy Dennis). The rearing of young can be affected by adverse weather, wind and rain having great affect on the young birds. This year a number of nests have failed due to the very wet weather we have been experiencing over the nesting season.