It's wilder than you might think.

About Us

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As members of the National Trust for Scotland Dumfries and Galloway Countryside Team, we manage properties across Dumfries and Galloway, including Threave Estate and Nature Reserve; Rockcliffe Property; Venniehill; The Murray's Isles and Bruce's Stone. Our task is to conserve and maintain the variety of habitats and species present, at the same time managing the sites for the education and enjoyment of current and future generations.

31 July 2013

Threave Osprey Update:

The younger chick has also fledged. Stephanie one of our volunteers was lucky to witness it fledge yesterday at 10.30 am. Unfortunately I missed them fledge as I was helping the team with bracken bashing at Rockcliffe.

Joyce (Volunteer at Osprey watch) was watching the chick’s behaviour in the afternoon. The older chick was much more adventurous and was hardly around the nest site. The younger chick only flew as far as 100 metres from the nest and was flying quite regularly to the main black poplar perch.

Elsewhere on the reserve: The wild flowers are looking splendid. The meadow sweet, valerian, rosebay willow herb and purple loosestrife look beautiful.

There are plenty of butterflies enjoying the sunny weather. I have seen ringlet, red admiral, peacock, green veined white, brown argus, small tortoiseshell and large and small whites.

Osprey Ranger

30 July 2013

Threave Osprey Update: - One chick has fledged!

Exciting news at the Threave nest site: The first female chick fledged yesterday in the early hours. Anar (one of the volunteers) spotted the chick at 10 am perched on the black poplar perch. The other chick has not quite fledged yet.

I went down this morning and there was just the one chick on the nest and the female - Olivia, sitting on the black polar perch.

Yesterday a pike was bought back the nest, a rather large one at that. The male is really feeding up those chicks. He will now concentrate his efforts on teaching them to hunt before they fly south to Africa.

Come down to Threave and get some great views of the chicks flying near the nest. Its a spectacular sight and they will fly closer to the platform than the adults as they don't know who humans are and aren't scared of us yet!

Osprey Ranger

20 July 2013

Threave Osprey Ringing Photos:

Please see below for osprey photos of the ringing on the 17th July. We have two female chicks. CU8 and CU9.

19 July 2013

Threave Osprey Update:

The chicks were successfully ringed on Wednesday evening with the following rings: Blue CU8 (BTO ring 1408283) and Blue CU9 (BTO 1401851) and both thought to be female.

The blue Darvic rings were placed on the left leg, the BTO silver rings on the right. CU8 weighed 1.74kg and CU9 was 1.89kg. They were both pretty lively on the ground and one had to be held to prevent her making a run for it. Karl Munday (Head Ranger) was nipped a few times on the hand by one of the feisty chicks.

The nest is getting quite crowded with the growing chicks and the adults. Both adults have been bringing in sticks to make the nest bigger. Come down to Threave Estate and see these amazing birds for yourself.

CU9 - Weighing 1.89 kg.

Osprey Ranger Tom Hall holding one of the female chicks.

Ciril replacing the female chicks back into the nest.

Young female osprey chick being ringed. 

17 July 2013

Threave Osprey Photos:

Photo taken from the viewing platform on Saturday 13 July.
One of the chicks tries out it's wings while a parent looks on.
Photo by Colin Smith.
Photo taken on Saturday 13 July from the Castle Hide -
One parent arrives with a fish while the other looks on.
Photo by Colin Smith.

15 July 2013

Threave Osprey Update

The Osprey chicks are growing fast. With this warm spell at the moment the female (Olivia) is shading the chicks under her wings from the intense heat. You can also see her panting on the nest.

Two days ago she went down into the water and came back to the nest and sprayed the water off her wings and body onto the chicks to cool them down. I bet that was a quick refreshing shower for the chicks....

Next week the chicks are getting ringed. They will be ringed with two rings. A standard metal BTO ring and a Darvic ring with a unique three digit code to identify the bird from a distance through a telescope. The chicks will also be sexed, weighed and measured.

Come down to Threave Estate and Gardens this weekend and enjoy the good weather and go for a lovley walk in beautiful surroundings. Plenty to see and do! We have a childrens adventure playground, a restaurant, a castle, Threave house and themed gardens.
Osprey Ranger

05 July 2013

Magical Meadows

The meadows on NTS properties at Threave Estate and garden, Rockcliffe, and Venniehill near Gatehouse are looking particularly splendid at his time of year. We have a real wealth of attractive plant species for wildlife including - Ox-eye daisy, buttercups, birds-foot trefoil, plantains, ragged robin and northern marsh orchid, to name but a few of the common species. Meadows are wonderful at this time of year with all their colour and variety. Careful management of bracken in some cases, and conservation grazing with Highland cattle help us to achieve these diverse plant communities, to benefit an abundance of insects and mammals as well as fungi making meadows attractive to host and variety of wildlife throughout the year.