The Provost of Angus recently paid a visit to Montrose Basin Visitor Centre and spotted a rare Osprey.
The nature centre is one of the key tourist attractions in Angus, with around 12,000 visitors every year.
Alison O’Hara, lead teacher naturalist at Montrose Basin Visitor Centre, which is run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), said: “We’ve been very busy this summer, with high numbers of visitors to the area as well as many local people and families coming along to the cCentre.
“This season, we have been kept very busy, as always.”
While touring the visitor centre the Provost, Councillor Helen Oswald, heard how some of the centre’s staff had undertaken The Angus Standard, an Angus Council initiative to ensure visitors to the area enjoy the best possible experience.
During her visit to the centre the Provost was lucky enough to spot an Osprey.
“Ospreys are regularly seen on the Basin,” said Andy Wakelin, SWT volunteer. “The best time of year to see them is at the end of August, when the young ones come here to practice fishing before they head off to Africa.”
Mrs Oswald said: “It’s little wonder Montrose Basin Visitor Centre attracts so many people.
“There is so much to see and do, with Alison, assistant manager Craig Shepherd, the reserve’s rangers and the team of volunteers on hand to explain what to look for and where.
“Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is a very significant and successful, four-star Angus tourist attraction – but it’s so much more than that. This superb visitor centre is educating people of all ages, from near and far, about the importance of protecting our wildlife and conserving natural habitats, while also highlighting the spectacular wildlife and natural environment of the county of Angus.”
Alison added: “We have up to 4,000 wading birds and over 400 pairs of eider ducks producing up to 1,000 eider chicks. “We also have a healthy population of swans, cormorants, goosanders, seals and, from mid-September, up to 60,000 pink-footed geese. Last October, a White Tailed Eagle was spotted.
“This summer, kittiwakes visited for the first time, probably from our nearby Reserve at Seaton Cliffs, Arbroath, and we’re regularly visited by the peregrines that nest on Montrose Steeple.”
Montrose Basin Visitor Centre is taking part in this year’s Angus Heritage week for the Doors Open Days weekend when, on Saturday, September 6, entry will be free. Visitors will be able watch the birds and seals at the reserve using the centre’s high-powered binoculars and telescopes.
On September 28 at the visitor centre there is the The People’s Postcode Lottery Goose Breakfast, which begins at dawn with the spectacle of thousands of pink-footed geese flying across the Basin and concludes at 9.30 am with breakfast at the visitor centre.