Grand old osprey: Lady returns to Loch of the Lowes nature reserve

The UK’s oldest known osprey returned to her nest at a Scottish wildlife reserve – only to end up in a mid-air showdown with a love rival.

The “veteran matriarch”, affectionately known as Lady and thought to be 28 years old, has nested at the Loch of the Lowes in Perthshire for a record-breaking 24 consecutive years.

Staff at the wildlife reserve identified her through her plumage and eye markings when she landed at 6.49am after completing her 3,000-mile migration from West Africa.

On arrival, the osprey who has also given birth to a record number of chicks, found her mate in a nest with a different female, but dive-bombed the rival out of sight.

lady-the-osprey-at-loch-of-the-lowes-nature-resort

Emma Rawling, The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Perthshire Ranger, said: “Lady is a veteran matriarch.

“We never take her return for granted because she is getting old and it’s a long journey from West Africa.

“And we were not even sure whether it was going to work out this year, because there was a rival female in the nest next door.

“But as soon Lady arrived, she dive-bombed and chased the rival away. She reclaimed her nest and her mate.

“She definitely put him in place. The female rival was chased off and has not been seen since. We don’t expect her to come back. Hopefully she will find somewhere else to nest.

“Lady has certainly wasted no time in mating. Courtship is definitely under way and they are looking very comfortable with each other.”

(© HEMEDIA / SWNS Group) via STV via STV At 28, Lady has outlived the average lifespan of a wild osprey three times over.The majestic species normally produce about 20 chicks in their lifetime, but Lady also broke records after she laid 68 eggs and reared 50 chicks.

The osprey couple have already began their courtship and Lady is expected to lay two to four eggs in early April which will hatch in about six weeks time.

Her every move is captured on a special webcam which is monitored round the clock by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and followed by millions online

Emma said: “She has become an ambassador for ospreys. She is the oldest known osprey in the UK and is followed by people around the world.

“There were more than two million hits on our webcam last year, which gives you some idea of how popular she is.

“She’s a glamorous bird with an interesting personality and people feel connected with her story.

“She is a very old bird and for her to undertake another successful migration is testament to just how special she is, however, it does demonstrate the conservation success story of the species as a whole.

“To think that ospreys were extinct just over a century ago, really brings home how accomplished the concerted effort of conservation has been in that time.

“The questions now are whether she will breed, if any eggs will hatch and whether any chicks fledge.

“People should tune in to the Ospreycam and read the blog in order to keep up-to-date with all the news here at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre.”

Secret Egypt; Unravelling truth from myth

Are you forever lookjing into something to do during the school holidays? Well I can thoroughly recommend a trip to Perth Museum. They have a fantastic exhibition on display on Egypt and it’s history.

FREE ENTRYmummy

On display until 25 May 2014 at Perth Museum & Art Gallery Secret Egypt Investigate the truth behind the popular myths about ancient Egypt.

Did aliens build the pyramids? Is the curse of the mummy real? Were the Egyptians obsessed with death? Secret Egypt will bring together over 150 objects from Birmingham Museums’ ancient Egyptian collection, and provide you with archaeological evidence that will answer these questions and more!

Scotland Photography Tour

We often receive photographs from our guests, of their holiday time in Perth and Scotland, which we thoroughly enjoy looking at. It brings back happy memories of their stay because we know how much they enjoyed their visit with us.

However this week we received a video from a guest which we absolutely loved. It was brilliant to see her perspective on Scotland and to see Perth through someone else’s eyes. We loved it so much we just had to ask her permission to share it. We are sure you will enjoy it too and agree she is very talented. Thanks for sharing Karen!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3UDpe5UvWE

Discover the magic of Scotland through my pictures, Karen Warmbold.

www.theorchidphotography.de www.facebook.com/theorchidphotography

 

The Dane’s Stone, beaten by the weather!!!

After standing for almost 6,000 years, a proud monolith has finally succumbed to the weather.moulin stone

Days of heavy rain proved to be too much for the Dane’s Stone, which is believed to date back to the neolithic era or Bronze Age. The megalith fell foul to the wet conditions and toppled over.

This large stone stood just to the north-west of the village of Moulin, in the field where the Moulin Market used to be held in days gone by. The stone stands some 2.1m tall by 1.3m wide at it’s widest point. The stone is 0.6m thick at the top, increasing to 0.9m thick at the base.

Coles reported in 1908 that several more stones were said to have stood in the field, all smaller than the existing stone, but were now half buried. However no trace of these other stones has been found.

This prehistoric stone and probably dates back to between 4,000BC and 1,000BC. The name Dane’s Stone was probably given during the Middle Ages, around about the time of the Vikings.

 

danes stone standing

Almond Villa would like to wish all their friends and family a very Happy New Year and all the Best for 2014!

Happy-New-Year-2014

As we come to the end of the year

And we welcome in a new one,

Let us pray it will be full of happiness

With lots of joy and holiday fun!!!

Christmas Lights switch-on in Perth

A fabulous day of festive fun and entertainment culminating in the Big ‘Switch On’!

Saturday 23 November 2013 Time: 11:00 Venue: Perth City Centre Suitability: All ages Cost: Free

Attractions on Saturday 23 November will include:perth-christmas

From 11 am – 6 pm Santa’s arrival at St John’s Centre at 11.30am. He will meet children until 4.30pm, when he will take part in the Big Parade. Lots of fun with Horne’s Pleasure Rides in Tay Street. Tasty food from a range of quality street vendors. An ice rink in Horsecross Plaza. Ice sculpting in Horsecross Plaza and Tay Street.

From 1.30 pm – 5.30 pm Street entertainment throughout the city centre. A Singing Christmas Tree featuring local singing groups.

On the main stage in Tay Street A stage in Tay Street will feature performances from local singers and musicians throughout the day.

The main stage in Tay Street will feature musical entertainment by DJs, Britain’s Got Talent Stars The Luminites, and Eric Faulkner’s Bay City Rollers. Mark Wright, star of TV shows such as The Only Way is Essex, Take Me Out and Surprise Surprise, will turn on the Christmas Lights alongside the Provost and Santa at 6pm.

There will also be a spectacular fireworks display.

Thank You!Thank you

Almond Villa would like to thank all their guests for making 2013 a fabulous season!! We were very touched by the number of cards and gifts we received and we hope we see you all again very soon.

We just received another beautiful card from a lovely Australian couple who stayed with us in September, it both touched us and made us giggle.

“Again we wish to thank Shauna and Lesley for the welcome we received, the help we received, the guidance and friendliness we enjoyed (and breakfast) during our stay with you at Almond Villa.

We enjoyed our UK trip, but Scotland was the best.

Ausies believe the Scottish people are friendly & helpful and the best. This is so true.

There are 2 types of people in the world. 1) The Scots 2) Those who wish they were.”

 

The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society return to the historic city of Perth for they’re annual AGM and Conference held in the Bell’s Sport Centre from the 1st November. The weekend holds a packed programme of events as well as the AGM there is general classes, the Final of “Dance Music for the Future”, Youth Forum and off course the Civic Reception and Ball held on the Saturday evening.

The RSCDS are also returning to Perth at the end of November for one of they’re Adjudicators Course. The attendees will be well emersed in the teaching of country dancing and must have held the qualification for at least 5 years. It would be a good weekend though hard work to obtain the qualification.

Great end to a fabulous tournament!!!

We had two lovely couples staying with us during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and we were delighted for them when they saw one of their favourites and a fellow Englishman win.   We had glorious weather here during the event, which really made for a great weekend away.

The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, is one of the richest golf tournaments on the European Tour. It is played on three different links courses, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie with the final day always ending on the old course at the “home of golf”, St Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

david howellEngland’s David Howell dramatically rolled in an eight foot birdie putt on the second hole of sudden death on the Old Course in St Andrews to beat talented young American Peter Uihlein and win the 2013 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

It was Howell’s first European Tour victory for seven years and 124 days – the last being the 2006 BMW PGA Championship – and a delighted Howell said: “It’s been a long time coming. I’m hoping this is going to be huge for me in many ways, because I have had many chances to win and I haven’t been able to do it.

The team competition was won by professional Thomas Levet. with his amateur playing partner David Sayer, a 13 handicapper. Sayer and Levet posted a final round 63 at the historic Old Course to finish with a four-round total of 40-under-par, a two-stroke winning margin.

The tournament is a pro-am, with the format based on the long-running United States PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am held annually since 1937 (except during World War II), where each team consists of one amateur and one professional.

The cut is made of the top 60 professionals and the leading 20 pro-am teams, regardless of the professional member of the team making the individual cut. These players and teams advance to the final round at St Andrews.

The Tay Decent 2013 & Paddle 2013

The weekend of the 26-27th October will see hundreds of keen and eager canoeists take to the river Tay for the The Tay Decent 2013. Entrants have the choice of 2 courses to paddle down. The Long Course is from Dunkeld to Perth (24 miles to the egress point at Perth) and the Short Course – Stanley Mills to Perth (7 miles).

The Tay is the largest volume river in the U.K., and in late autumn can be very cold. Participants should be of 3 Star level, and be able to cope with large waves, boils, and turbulent water. It is highly recommended to paddle the river before the event if you have not already done so.

Tay Descent

As well as the Tay Decent competitors are invited to the Bell’s Sports Centre for Paddle 2013, 26-27th October. The show combines a mix of exhibitors, talks and workshops.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the latest boats and kit from manufacturers, buy shiny new toys from retailers and book that holiday or course from a course provider. Talks and workshops will cover all aspects of Paddlesports with something for everyone from complete novices right through to old hands.

The Saturday night Scottish Ceilidh provides a great chance to meet up with fellow paddlers and dance the night away.

Paddle 2013 tickets cost as little as £3 and Ceilidh tickets £8 when purchased in advance from www.canoesctotland.org

Saturday 26th 10am to 6pm Sunday 27th 10am to 4pm