Guest Blog Post: New Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre
In this guest blog post, owner of Great Travel Pictures and #Scotlandhour founder Douglas Baird shares his recent visit to the opening of the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre at Loch Lomond Shores.
Let me introduce myself - my name is Dougie Baird and travel is my passion. When I am not abroad I will be out photographing our wonderful country, Scotland. At least once a month I make the short journey to Loch Lomond. I have been visiting what I call “the Big Loch” for over thirty years and always find something different each time. I think Scotland is such a beautiful country and I like to try and capture this on video and in photos.
On Saturday 9th November I had the great pleasure of visiting the brand new Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre at Loch Lomond Shores, Balloch. It turned out to be a special day. Paul Murton of BBC`s "Grand Tours of Scotland" was there to officially open the centre, and Clann an Drumma provided the music. Colin Woolf demonstrated his talent at the easel. Colin is one of the UK's leading wildlife artists. He works in watercolour, with a talent which sets him apart from other wildlife painters of today.
Loch Lomond Bird of Prey Centre was founded in November 2004 by Brian Haining. Sadly Brian passed away in October 2006, aged 41. I have heard so much about Brian`s passion for his birds and that passion has been passed down to the volunteers whom we met at the centre: a wonderful group of people.
I’d like to offer my congratulations to Stewart and his team, and Clare and the team at Loch Lomond Shores, who have done a superb job at the new centre, and I hope my words and images help to encourage people to visit the new site at Lomond Shores.
At the centre I met TV presenter Paul Murton who was there to perform the opening ceremony. The presenter of BBC1 series Grand Tours Of Scotland appeared to share my love of blue jackets - we shared a joke about that.
The entire centre is carefully built into a wooded area and looks perfect, just nestled between the trees and a small burn. I would recommend it to anyone who is planning a visit Loch Lomond, to go and have a look. There are plenty of birds of prey to see, and very knowledgeable staff. It’s the perfect place to spend some time and kids will love it.
What’s more, there are over thirty birds to discover: Kestrels, Buzzards, Hawks, Falcons and Eagles, including "Orla", the Golden Eagle. We were there to look and learn. Here are a few of the interesting facts we took away. Did you know…
- Only the Tawny Owl makes the familiar "too-wit-too-woo" sound.
- Eagles and Buzzards can spot a rabbit over a mile away.
- A Golden Eagle can grip with a force of 1 ton with each foot.
- Birds of Prey generally do not drink, they obtain fluids from their food.
I hope you enjoy my blog from the opening day:
Many thanks to Dougie Baird for this guest blog post.