Angus nature reserve regulars have thanked its popular warden for 25 years of looking after their favourite beauty spot.
And one of the latest generation of ospreys which Balgavies near Forfar is famed for also has special reason to be grateful.
For it was Jim who took the chick in last year when the Balgavies nest collapsed during a summer heatwave.
He fed it supermarket sea bass while a temporary home was built for the young bird.
It is thriving and was spotted recently in the raptors’ traditional winter migration ground of Senegal in West Africa.
Osprey success story
Former offshore worker Jim says the story of ospreys at Balgavies has been the undoubted highlight of his time there.
He was one of the first Scots to go offshore in the early days of the North Sea oil industry.
“I was a project manager on the Claymore before coming to Balgavies,” he said.
“But I loved it from the minute I came here.
“I just thought it was such a beautiful place.”
Balgavies Loch was something of an secret gem until the first ospreys settled there around 2010.
But when the island nest at the reserve a few miles east of Forfar recorded the first ever Angus osprey chick in 2012 its popularity took off.
Since then it has seen around 15 new arrivals – including three this summer.
“The ospreys have been the highlight of my time at Balgavies, without a doubt,” said Jim, who originally trained as a stonemason.
“It’s been a fantastic success story for these wonderful birds.
“And so many people come to see them, they really are everyone’s favourite.”
The summer 2022 drama happened when extreme heat cracked a tree trunk and sent the next crashing into the loch.
Balgavies regulars found the struggling chick and Jim made a dash to a Forfar supermarket for fish to keep it going.
“I was feeding it for 10 hours while a makeshift nest was built,” he said.
“But we got it back in there and it survived.
“And one of the regular osprey spotters in Senegal reported seeing it just a few weeks ago so it’s just brilliant.”
Angus and Dundee SWT group members surprised Jim with a presentation at Mains of Balgavies as his 25th anniversary as warden looms.
Alban Houghton of the group said: “Jim is a fantastic ambassador for the Scottish Wildlife Trust at Balgavies Loch reserve.
“Some years ago he renovated the old Aldbar Station ticket office at the east end of the reserve.
“In the hide overlooking the loch, Jim is a friendly and knowledgeable guide.”
Jim said much of the reserve’s success is down to the people who love going there.
“We’ve got a really great bunch of unofficial helpers,” he added.
“If they spot anything untoward they contact me immediately.
“There are a few rascals from time to time, but the vast majority of visitors use and enjoy Balgavies as they should.”
However, the reserve has been hit by a recent spate of fly-tipping.
It has involved bags of dog and horse manure dumped at the viewpoint car park on the Forfar to Arbroath road.
“There have been 17 bags in total over three weeks,” he said.
“It has to be someone who has a number of dogs and has maybe also cleaned out a loose box for their horses and bagged it up.”
He hopes someone will recognise where the distinctive Burgess Adult Dog Food 12.5 kilo bags have come from.
“Someone has saved it up and then taken the opportunity just to dump it in the car park when they’ve been passing Balgavies,” said Jim.