Our ospreys have had to put up with another osprey intruder today ( perhaps the same cheeky bird who flew past yesterday with a fish in tow) , which caused minor alarm on the nest at least three times today.
The day started with snow showers, and ended with sleet, with sunshine in between! As I write the female is enduring an awful night on the nest, drenched in freezing rain, totally dedicated to incubating her precious egg.
There has been lots of excitement here at the Visitor centre and lots of media interest in the story of our resident females new egg- we must never forget just how remarkable this birds achievement is in producing 62 eggs in her lifetime ( so far!)
In other wildlife news from one of our residential volunteers:
On the early osprey watch shifts this week I have been enjoying spectacular views of Goldeneye ducks displaying and mating just in front of the top hide.
Here’s a great video Laura filmed early one morning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAG71aLQaKg&feature=youtu.be
Around 20, 000 of these diving ducks arrive in winter from northern Europe, however less than 200 pairs breed in the UK. The first breeding record was in Inverness-shire in 1970 and their numbers have subsequently increased, largely due to a successful nestbox programme in Speyside. These birds nest in holes in trees and by erecting nestboxes we can provide perfect nesting habitats for these fascinating birds. Here at the reserve we have erected several goldeneye nestboxes and hopefully we will see goldeneye chicks out on the loch this summer.
Goldeneyes feed on insects, molluscs and crustaceans and are seen diving frequently. Here at Lowes they are often found in groups with tufted ducks, the goldeneyes can be identified by their chunky triangular shaped head. The males are striking in breeding plumage with greenish black heads, a white cheek patch, bright yellow eyes and bold wing markings. In flight the wings of these birds create a distinctive whistling sound which can be heard around the loch.
Laura Cunningham – Volunteer Species Protection Officer