Leading conservation charity, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, is issuing a warning to members of the public out enjoying wildlife to be aware of signs warning not to disturb breeding birds.
This comes after an incident at the Scottish Wildlife Trust Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre on Sunday (13th April) when the resident breeding osprey was disturbed after a pair of enthusiasts inadvertently went too near the nest.
It resulted in the osprey leaving her nest for around 10 minutes, when she should have been incubating her newly laid egg.
The dedicated Osprey Watch volunteers noticed immediately and acted swiftly to minimise the disturbance to the resident bird, which was unharmed by the incident.
This is a crucial time for both ospreys and peregrines, and the Trust wants to ensure they have the best chance to breed successfully.
Raptors are under threat at all stages of their life cycle from egg collectors, poachers and individuals that wish to destroy the birds.
For this reason, the Trust operates 24-hour Osprey Watch at Loch of the Lowes, and Operation Peregrine at Falls of Clyde which even employs a dedicated Peregrine Protection Officer, funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
By keeping to the viewing areas, it will provide the best chance of seeing the birds in their natural habitat while also finding out more information from the team of dedicated staff and volunteers.
Reserve Manager for North East Scotland, Rab Potter, said: “The Scottish Wildlife Trust always welcomes enthusiasts to its sites so they can enjoy wildlife in its natural environment.
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust would ask people to be aware of signage warning that they risk disturbing the birds.
“Ignoring them can really affect the chances of successful breeding.
The Trust sites at Falls of Clyde and Loch of the Lowes provide the best vantage points, and visitors can use the scopes provided to get a brilliant wildlife experience.