Events from the nest:
Our famous osprey pair are still continuing with incubation duties. It is now 15 days since the last of the three eggs was expected to hatch. Our female and her mate, 7Y continue to make regular changeovers in incubation duty. At 11.49am a small fish was delivered to the nest by our male. However, he immediately flew off with his catch, closely followed by our female who had been incubating at the time, leaving the eggs unattended. However, 5 minutes later, 7Y returned and continued to incubate for the nest 2 hours. The eggs were then left unattended again, but our female returned also within 5 minutes. At 3.35pm, our male returned to his mate with his second fish of the day. At this point, the pair both left the nest again, but 7Y returned shortly after and again incubated the three eggs. Another changeover then took place at 3.55pm.
We have received e-mails to our dedicated address: firstname.lastname@example.org asking the reason for the eggs being unsuccessful this year. The answer to this is that we just can’t tell at this stage as there are a number of factors that contribute to a successful breeding season.
Other wildlife at Loch of the Lowes:
Out on the loch, our pairs of great crested grebes have been seen constructing nests. These nests are often built in a ramshackle fashion and are quite fragile and vulnerable to flooding. Earlier in the season, we have had the privilege of seeing great crested grebes displaying on the loch where, as part of their courtship, the pair will rise out of the water and shake their heads.
Also on the loch were mute swans, Canada geese, greylag geese, and mallards, while the squealing call of a water rail could be heard from the reed beds.
At around midday, a hedgehog was seen in the meadow in front of the Visitor Centre. Hedgehogs have suffered a dramatic decline in population with a 25% drop in numbers over the past ten years. The reason for this is thought to be loss of habitat. Their diet mainly consists of slugs and beetles and due to this, hedgehogs are widely acknowledged as welcome visitors to gardens.
A juvenile woodpecker was seen along with two adults at the feeders today. Juveniles are distinguished by their red crown, while adult males have a red patch further back on their head and the adult females are without red head markings.
Other birds at the window include: a tree creeper, jay, chaffinches, greenfinches, siskins, yellowhammers, great tits, coal tits, blue tits, pheasants and a woodpigeon. Various calls have also been heard across the reserve: cuckoo, wren, and willow warbler.
Two red squirrels have again been seen during the day, along with a bank vole.