Another busy day at Loch of the Lowes, with three visits to the nest by our mystery osprey, or ospreys?
The day started with a quick landing on the nest at 7.17am, which was too quick for our volunteers on duty to get a good zoom in on for accurate identification.
The second at 10.43 was just as quick, but the bird did look strikingly like the one from previous days and was definitely unringed.
When a bird is seen, the volunteers and other staff on Osprey Watch duty in the hides, and in the centre (helping visitors) will call myself or Jonathon in to help identify the bird more closely. Of course I drop everything to dash to the HD camera controls to zoom in on tell tale head markings etc to distinguish individual birds.
This afternoons sighting (actually two landings) at 3.52pm was a great one as we had enough time (with the bird landing for about 8 minutes in all ) to get a really close look. This did indeed prove to be the same bird that has been seen on the nest at least once a day since Saturday. This is not necessarily the same bird as in every landing on the nest so far, but certainly is becoming a regualr visitor!
We think this bird is a female (judging by her size) and possibly a young bird, though with no leg rings, it is impossible to be certain. It is definitely not our regular breeding female as her eye markings are very different and there are also differences in her coloration. I have noticed a neat line in her right eye which sits at 7.30 o’clock (i.e. bottom left) which I am using to identify her at the moment, hence my zooming in on this whenever possible.
The good news is that this bird is obviously not just passing through briefly, and is showing a sustained and determined interest in the nest. This could be very important because if our regular female doesn’t return (though of course we hope she does), then chances are this bird may stay around to be courted by our male.
We continue to watch the nest and loch from the hides in all daylight hours- thanks to our wonderful volunteer team for their help with this- so we don’t miss any osprey action.