Perthshire is a paradise for bird watchers.  Whether you are a serious ornithologist, a 'twitcher' or just a casual bird watcher there is something for you. Ridgeway Bed and Breakfast accommodation is an ideal base for the many sites, all accessible in a day excursion. 

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Bird feeders have been placed in the garden - one front and one back - and different birds can be watched from the bedrooms.

In 2009, a pair of swallows made their home in our porchway and have been back each year since.  This year (2011) they have had two clutches which have produced nine chicks (second set shown below).

Swallows nesting in the porch

One morning in October 2012 the owl photographed below settled on one of the security lights on the side of the bungalow - and stayed long enough for us to rush indoors, collect the camera and take photographs

Owl resting on security light

 

 

Some of the many sites easily reached from Ridgeway

(Approximate distance from Ridgeway)

Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Centre,  Dunkeld (Scottish Wildlife Trust) (7 miles)    Ospreys, one of Scotland's rarest birds, have bred successfully at this loch since 1970 and can be seen at their eyrie from April to August.  Woodland birds and red squirrels can be seen on the loch shore and otters in the loch.    There are observation hides and nest cameras.

The oldest recorded breeding osprey nested at the Loch of the Lowes, Perthshire  for many year.  Estimated to be over 26 years old, more than three times the usual lifespan, she had completed a 3,000 mile migration from West Africa to her summer breeding ground.  In her lifetime she has laid 71 eggs, 50 of which have hatched successfully into chicks that flew the nest. 

Loch of Kinnordy,   Kirriemuir (RSPB) (18 miles) is a shallow loch surrounded by farmland - well worth a visit at any time of year.   Ospreys are regular visitors during the spring and summer months and there is a colony of black-headed gulls.  Many species of duck and grebe can be seen, including the black-necked grebe.   In winter, the reserve provides safe refuge for swans and geese.

Piperdam,  Dundee (16 miles)    Nestling in the Sidlaw hills, ospreys can be seen fishing  and nesting.

Vane Farm Nature Reserve,   Kinross (RSPB centre) (30 miles)     Some of the species to be seen here are lapwing, pink-footed and greylag geese, shoveler, shelduck and tufted duck.

Loch Leven Nature Reserve, Fife (Scottish Natural Heritage) (35 miles)    Scotland's largest lowland freshwater loch - an international hub for birds.    Observation room, hides, wetland and woodland trails  http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/reserve.asp?NNRId=33

Fowlsheugh,  Stonehaven (RSPB)  (62 miles)   Come in spring or summer to marvel at the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of seabirds crammed onto the cliffs to raise their young.    Guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes are most numerous, but you can also see everyone's favourites, puffins, as well as fulmars and shags.

Montrose Basin,   Montrose (Scottish Wildlife Trust) (40 miles)    A vast range of geese, duck, waders, grebe, warblers, swans, etc. can all be seen in season.   The majority of the reserve lies below the high water mark of ordinary spring tides but, particularly at the western end, there are slightly more elevated areas with zones of salt marsh, reed bed, brackish and fresh water, unimproved grassland and arable land.  It contains SSSI's and is a Ramsar site and a Special Protection Area.

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