THE most famous residents of Loch Doon are set for renewed fame when they return to the area later this year thanks to grant funding for a new binocular scope.

The Roundhouse Café at the loch has been awarded a grant of £7,000 to allow visitors to watch the loch’s osprey family close-up in their nest.

The new kit is in addition to CCTV coverage already in place at the site through Forestry and Land Scotland.

Café owner Brian Meechan couldn’t believe his luck when he found out the café had been awarded the cash, and he is already looking forward to the ospreys returning later this year.

He told the Chronicle: “It was a parish community based project and you had to do a presentation at the local community centre about why you deserved some funding.

“I was quite surprised with the response because what I usually get told is that we won’t get anything because we’re a business.

“We managed to secure £7,000 for a binocular scope, which we’re obviously delighted with, so that’ll go up at Loch Doon in the very near future.

“The public can come up and see what the money has gone towards. It will be set up at the Roundhouse, and the ospreys’ nest is up on the hill on the other side of the water.”

Brian hopes that the new device will be up and running in time for the birds – who have nested in the area for many years – returning to the area around April.

With them being such a big attraction, he’s excited at the prospect of seeing people – whether they’re experienced ‘birders’ or novices – getting the maximum use out of the scope.

Brian added: “The birds migrate to West Africa every year so it’s the same pair we get back, so they usually return around Easter time, so we hope to have it all installed for then.

“The kids at the local primary schools get to name the chicks, so we’re hoping to stream the footage of the chicks right into the schools.

“A lot of people have worked hard to get us to this position so I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to get here.

“The ospreys are a big deal because there’s only about 350 pairs of them in the whole of the country, so for people to have them on their doorstep is a big deal.

“People travel all over to see ospreys so I think the fact we have them here means it is important for us to do a good job in showing them off to people in any way we can.

“I really hope this new scope will bring even more people to see them, because it’s a proud moment to say that we’ve got these Ayrshire ospreys.”