This blog is written by Abernethy staff throughout the changing seasons here on the reserve.
During summer it's likely there'll be more frequent blogs as the ospreys return to breed at the Loch Garten nest and the drama unfolds.
We hope you enjoy following life at Abernethy reserve.
Thanks for reading!
My name is Alice and I am new to the Loch Garten team this season. I am joining the team as a Visitor Experience Officer and I can't quite believe my luck! EJ and Odin are two very encaptivating, endearing characters and I love watching what they get up to everyday. There are currently many mating attempts, so like you all, I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first egg.
Just like the Ospreys, I myself have migrated North this summer. I grew up in South Wales, I studied BSc Environmental Conservation at Bangor University in North Wales, and have spent my winter down at RSPB Leighton Moss in Lancashire. The Scottish Highlands are like nothing I have ever experienced before and I am very excited to explore my new home!
I have loved seeing crested tits around the centre by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com).
Whilst at University, I completed two professional placements. My first placement was based in the Caribbean, where I worked for Echo, an organisation dedicated to protecting critically endangered yellow shouldered amazon parrots on Bonaire. My role was to develop a native plant nursery and assist habitat restoration efforts in order to improve, diversify and increase yellow shouldered amazon parrot habitat. Not only did the placement give me much experience in nature conservation, it gave me a whole host of fantastic wildlife memories. Particular highlights include seeing Caribbean flamingos, great frigate birds and brown pelicans on a daily basis, and learning to dive in my spare time brought close encounters with green turtles, hawksbill turtles, nurse sharks, seahorses and octopuses.
Seeing red squirrels at the feeders has been a real treat by Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com).
I carried out my second placement on Skomer Island, a reserve home to thousands of our breeding seabirds. My role on Skomer was to deliver welcome talks to enthusiastic day visitors, in addition to assisting with survey work dedicated to estimating numbers of puffins, razorbills,guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars and manx shearwaters. Wildlife highlights from Skomer included hearing the eerie mating calls of the manx shearwaters, seeing large flocks of gannets who breed on RSPB Grassholm, and seeing a humpback whale breach the water on a boat trip taken in my spare time.
At Leighton Moss I carried out a six month internship and was involved in creating and delivering events, welcoming visitors to the reserve and interacting with people through blogs and social media. Whilst at Leighton Moss I enjoyed great sightings of otters, bitterns, bearded tits and marsh harriers.
Scottish crossbills are the UK's only endemic species of bird by Mike Langman (rspb-images.com).
I have only been at Loch Garten for three weeks, but I have already had so many great wildlife encounters that I know this special place will always be hard to beat. The peaceful setting of Loch Garten and the epic surroundings of the ancient Caledonian pine forest here at Abernethy are very much keeping me entertained. I have already seen crested tits, red squirrels and crossbills, to name but a few, which are species I have dreamt about seeing for years.
Hello Alice, just catching up with the blogs. Thank you for this lovely blog, what a varied and interesting career you have had already, I hope you enjoy what Abernethy has to offer too. I look forward to meeting you and the rest of the team when I will be up in May to visit EJ and Odin.
Just looked in . Thank you Alice for a very informative blog. Hope you enjoy your stay at LG and have a really interesting time there.
was just about to say hey everyone its Alice :)
Welcome Alice from me , looking forward to meeting you in July , hope you have a wonderful season at Loch Garten x
Great to hear from you Alison. You've obviously had a very busy conservation life! All very interesting too .. how fortunate you have been . Welcome to Loch Garten - I hope you'll gain even more valuable experience which will send you on and up the conservation ladder. Great Blog and super captures.
What interesting and varied experiences you've had already, Alison, and now LG! Thank you for the blog and for including the super photos.
Welcome to LG, Alice! You're going to have a wonderful summer.
Does this mean you're all going to have separate Community IDs? Yay!