What a day at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest! I have personally never known so much happen in a single day with the birds, and all the excitement, media interest and extra visitors has been quite a wonderful whirlwind!
To recap: our resident female arrived at 8.31 this morning, and was joined on the nest around 12noon by an unringed male. Add to this a third Osprey also seen flying around the nest and it has sometimes been hard to keep up with all the action.
Since my last post, there have been two fish deliveries by the new male to our female on the nest, and several sticks too- classic instinctive courtship behaviour. I lost count of mating attempts at about 16, and sometimes his technique left a little to be desired, but there certainly have been some successful ones.
The fact that our newly arrived female osprey has accepted advances from this new (presumably) young male is in itself somewhat unusual: most often the birds will wait for their established partners to arrive and only accept advances from other birds if their usual mate is very late, or does not turn up at all. That said, these “extra marital” matings are probably more common than we like to think and are proof of the strength of the hormonally controlled breeding instinct.
However, if her usual mate, know as Green 7Y does turn up soon, he is likely to chase off the younger bird and reclaim the nest and his mate. This can lead to problems if there are already eggs laid etc as in such cases, the second male can sometimes destroy eggs which he hasn’t ‘fathered’- such as in the famous Loch Garten case a few years back.
There is no way of knowing just if and when Green 7Y might turn up, so we don’t know how this will all turn out: only that watching it all unfold will be very exciting!
P.S. make that three fish- thats some pike he just brought in alive and it gave him a bite!