The Osprey Centre is a nature reserve on the shore of Loch Garten, in the Abernethy Forest near Nethy Bridge, at the north east corner of the Cairngorm National Park. For many years ospreys deserted Scotland, but a pair breedin birds settled in the Loch Gareten area, and the Osprey Centre was set up to monitor the birds, preserve their habitat, and allow visitors to safely view the nest without disturbing the birds. A boardwalk leads from the visitor centre to a bird hide, allowing good access to safe vantage point for further observation.
When ospreys returned to breed in Scotland, this is where they chose to come. Now you can watch them close-up, thanks to non-invasive CCTV. The reserve also has some excellent walks, with the chance to see red squirrels, dragonflies and crested tits. It is particularly important for breeding capercaillie, osprey and scottish crossbill – all of which you can see from the RSPB’s Osprey Centre at Loch Garten.
Abernethy Forest northeast of Aviemore near the Boat of Garten is internationally important and is the largest remaining tract of native pinewood in Britain. Scots pine trees grow naturally here with heather, bilberry, bearberry and juniper shrubs growing underneath. There are also areas of northern bog within the forest where there is a good variety of mosses including Sphagnum mosses.
There are additionally binoculars and scopes provided at the centre for your convenience so there is no reason to miss out on the magnificent sight of the ospreys and their nest. The centre staff (a lovely bunch of people) are on hand to provide further information when required. Like the better known Loch Garten, this is one of the Speyside forest lochs, which, like the bogs, have become one of Britain’s rarer habitats. The loch is beautiful, fringed by pines on three sides and with a view towards the Cairngorm foothills on the fourth.
There is much more to the centre than it’s resident ospreys. There are a number of bird species who share with them the spotlight. Watch out for the regular visitors like the Crested, Blue, Great and Coal Tits, the Capercaillie, the Greater Spotted Woodpecker and more. Wildlife of a feathered kind are not you will see here, look out for roe and red deer, red squirrel, dragonflies and many more.
Between April and August you can watch these magnificent birds diving for fish in tranquil surroundings before they head south, back to the warmer climes of South Africa. So whether you’re an avid Ornithologist or just enjoy the splendour of our Birds of Prey, the Osprey Centre is certainly worth a visit. See also Walks in Aviemore
Osprey Arena At Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort
This multi purpose space is accessible directly from the main Conference Reception and offers 1,000 square metres of carpeted exhibition space. It is fully air-conditioned and can be easily transformed into a private dining area for up to 800 guests with full vehicle access to the Osprey Arena. More info visit Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort website
RSPB Osprey Centre Loch Garten
Tel: 01479 831476
Loch Garten Osprey Centre
near Nethybridge, signposted from the B970 at Boat of Garten Aviemore