Loch of the Lowes by Dunkeld.
Loch of the Lowes is a 98 hectare loch (no fishing permitted to protect the wildlife) purchased by the Scottish Wildlife Trust in 1969, shortly before the first pair of Ospreys starting breeding in a conifer tree on the Loch edge 150 metres from the observation hides and visitor centre.
The ospreys arrive in early April and depart with their chicks for West Africa in late August each year. The female osprey 'Lady' has made a real name for herself having first laid eggs back in 1990, she has returned each year including 2012 to raise her chicks. There is a paperback book 'Lady of the Loch' you can purchase to read about this fantastic bird.
Watch the osprey chicks travel to West Africa - The two chicks born in 2012, one from Loch of the Lowes the other from the Trust's reserve in Angus have been tagged, so you can see them as they travel and stay in West Africa.
Loch of the Lowes sees crested grebes,goldeneyes, goosanders, mallards, widgeon, teal, tufted ducks and in the winter up to 3,000 migrant graylag geese, which roost at the loch each night.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre and bird hides.
The Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is manned with the help of volunteers supporting permanent staff, it is open 10 am to 5 pm March to October 7 days a week, and weekends Friday to Sunday 10.30am to 4pm over the winter. The hides are open all year (but be warned that during the winter 2012-13 the hides are being refurbished and may not be open).
The Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre has a small shop selling books and information on wildlife, it has a large viewing window where you can watch birds at feeders along with red squirrels and other mammals including special evening viewing of Pine Martin.
The Loch of the Lowes rangers are very helpful giving advice to the general public on any wildlife questions from nesting boxes, to pine martin homes and bug cities. During the main season the Loch of the Lowes rangers organise and guide a number of walks and other activities.
The Loch of Lowes Scottish Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre is 16 miles north of Perth, on the road from Dunkeld to Butterstone and Blairgowrie, a couple of miles from Dunkeld, just beyond the Dunkeld Golf Club.
Loch of the Lowes is highly recommended, if you are interested in wildlife and enjoy walking, as there are some excellent walks from the visitor centre.