THERE are certain things that always tell me that spring is well and truly underway here in Loch Lomond.

The lighter evenings, the sound of boat engines on the Loch on a sunny afternoon, the smell of freshly cut grass and the arrival of our beautiful migrant birds, reappearing after their long and sometimes perilous journey.

One of the most famous birds to return is the Osprey. Ospreys fly over 3,000 miles from Africa to make their journey to Scotland to nest. Here at the RSPB, we are extremely fortunate to have a dedicated Osprey Centre at Loch Garten near Aviemore, where the same Osprey EJ has returned for the past 17 years to nest at the same site. She and her partner Odin are currently on their fourth year nesting together.

You can follow EJ and Odin's progress at and searching for Loch Garten in the search engine.

However, it is not just in the brilliance of the gorgeous Caledonian pine forest that you can spot an Osprey. Often you can see them near any bed of water, especially lochs fishing for their food. Recently we have had the privilege to hear that two Ospreys have been spotted on the east side of Loch Lomond. With this in mind we here at The RSPB Shop for Nature decided to take action. We decided what better way to see these splendid birds than by getting up close to them, and since they are normally found over water or perched high in trees, the only way we can provide this is by hiring out our binoculars. So here at the shop, we are providing binocular hire for �5 for half a day. In conjunction with the guided RSPB cruises, which are now running weekly with Cruise Loch Lomond, we are confident that an Osprey will be seen with our binoculars at some point over this summer. As ideal as it sounds watching these great birds over lochs and in forests, that is not always where they can be found. Recently I had a very perplexed man come into the shop with his camera. He had captured a photograph of a large bird across from his office, but had difficulty identifying it. As I looked at his camera, instantly I saw that it was a gorgeous female Osprey. Sitting contently on the roof of an office block. A rare sight, even rarer still that his office block was situated in none other than Govan in Glasgow. Proof that suburbia is not devoid of wonderful nature. It's an exciting time here down at Loch Lomond Shores too, as the sun shines it brings lots of people down to enjoy the stunning scenery and take a leisurely walk in our gorgeous woodland. When the sun shines, it is the best time to see our other favourite migrant visitor - swallows and sand martins. Closing the doors of the shop one evening, I had the privilege of seeing a large group of swallows return to us. The Loch provides an excellent spot to watch our swallows and sand martins and they catch insects such as midges. We at the RSPB Shop for Nature are always eager to encourage children to appreciate nature and get closer to its secrets. Therefore, we decided to provide bug explorer packs for hire. Parents can hire the packs that contain children's binoculars, a bird identification book, a bug magnification chamber, a bug identification book and an awesome bird bingo game all for �3 per child. But for now, farewell and as always - eyes to the sky!