Events from the nest today:
Two weeks after the first egg was laid, incubation continues. Both ospreys have been regularly turning the eggs during their periods on the nest. As I write this our male, 7Y, is taking a turn incubating the three eggs. Ospreys lay between 2 to 4 eggs, with the majority of mature ospreys laying 3.
At 8.45am 7Y chased away an intruding crow that was circling the vicinity of the nest. Later, our male made a fish delivery at 12.55pm, which our female then flew off with to feed, taking a break from duties on the nest.
During the day, both ospreys can be seen panting whilst incubating the eggs. This is normal and is due to the fine weather and exposed nature of osprey eyries. The nest here at Loch of the Lowes is about 60 foot high up in a Scot’s Pine tree.
A question we received via firstname.lastname@example.org asked how to tell apart our male and female ospreys. Female ospreys are up to 20% bigger than males, and when comparing the two together, this is the most obvious way to tell them apart. Our female osprey here at Loch of the Lowes has a lighter shade of brown plumage than her mate. Our male, 7Y, therefore has more contrast between his dark brown upper body and white under-parts. Our female also has more brown markings in the band running across her chest. Other than the green leg ring of our male bearing the mark 7Y, these are the clearest differences to look out for when viewing our webcam.
Other wildlife at Loch of the Lowes:
As always, here at Loch of the Lowes, there is plenty of other wildlife to see. This morning a red squirrel was seen entering one of the feeding boxes. This species of squirrel is under threat due to lack of habitat and a disease carried by the non-native grey squirrel. There remain only an estimated 120,000 red squirrels left in Scotland today. For more information on the decline of the red squirrel and to find out what the Scottish Wildlife trust is doing to try to combat this as well as ways you can help, visit our dedicated webpage: http://www.swt.org.uk/campaigns/scotlands-red-squirrels/
Also around the feeders this morning, were chaffinches, blue tits, a coal tit, and a great spotted woodpecker.
A female mallard was present, accompanied by 15 ducklings!! Mallard ducks normally lay approximately 12 eggs between mid-March and the end of July. Eggs are laid over the duration of a couple of weeks. This large clutch means that female mallards actually lay more than half their body weight! As you might imagine, this is a very stressful time for the female. For about 28 days during incubation, the female will sit on the nest. Her brown plumage means she is well camouflaged against predators.
Out in the hides, the call of an oystercatcher and song of a willow warbler could be heard, while on the loch were mallards, tufted ducks, 3 mute swans and 3 great crested grebes. One great crested grebe dove for a fish in front of the Crannog Hide.
Across the loch this morning, a stag could be seen taking a drink by one of our volunteers.
Perthshire Reserves Seasonal Ranger