Good afternoon all,
Events from the nest today:
Today has seen our ospreys continue with their incubation duties as usual. Our pair has been relaxed for the most part, save for an interloper which flew through the vicinity of the nest early this morning. However, it was seen off and normality resumed. The remains the day were spent tidying up the nest and repositioning the eggs.
A question we received via firstname.lastname@example.org asked us if the female osprey would leave for Africa sooner if the eggs turned out to be infertile. According to Roy Dennis, who has done extensive research in this area, the female will likely stay in the vicinity of the nest for a time and then commence migration earlier than usual if conditions allow it.
Another question regarded the expected hatching dates of the eggs, should they indeed be fertile. The average incubation period is 37 days, though it can take between 35 and 39 days. Last year, two of the three eggs hatched on the 20th and 21st of May, having been laid on the 13th, 16th and 18th of April. This year, if the eggs are fertile, we can reasonably expect hatching to occur on similar dates as the eggs were laid on the 13th, 16th and 19th of April.
Other wildlife at Loch of the Lowes:
Although a somewhat quieter day on the loch than usual, two pairs of great crested grebes were seen along with three mute swans and seven mallard including eleven ducklings pursuing their mother. The ever-present mix of tufted duck and goldeneye were diving into the loch to feed.
Two different red squirrels were once again spotted at the feeders along with many chaffinch, great tits, blue tit, coal tits, robins, siskins, greenfinches and a yellow hammer. Two great spotted woodpeckers could also be seen from the viewing window.
The most notable record for today was hearing the distinctive call of a whitethroat. These summer migrants return to us between April and May and are relatively common in most parts of Britain. Their call is an oddly scratching, fast and jumpy melody that is non-rhythmic. Adult males have a greyish head and white bib, as the name suggests. However, if not fully matured, both sexes appear very similar and clarification is difficult.
SITA Species Protection Officer