Our Ospreys have today been suffering the snowy weather, like most of Scotland, and probably thinking of the much warmer climates they left to come here to breed. We can only imagine it must be strange to leave subtropical Africa to arrive in snowy Scotland.
I am often asked why the birds bother which such a long, hazardous migration, when the Scottish weather leaves so much to be desired. The answer is really threefold: the abundance of food here in spring/ summer in our clean rich waters; the comparative lack of predators of chicks and adult birds (well at least no treesnakes, monkeys or crocodiles); and lastly and most crucially, in our long summers when the Ospreys have hungry families to feed, we have very long daylight- up to 22hrs of light in which to fish.
Speaking of fishing, our new male bird seems to be a dab hand and has brought in a variety of fish so far: Pike, Perch and Rainbow Trout. Some of these have been really large and quite a task to carry back to the nest. His poor mate had to wait until 3.45pm this afternoon to be brought a fish- but at least he delivered it whole, putting her needs ahead of his ( as he is genetically programmed to do). Another fish arrived after 5pm this afternoon, which he had already eaten the head of, and which he seemed very reluctant to share!
There have been one or two sightings of a third Osprey over the loch again today, but still no sign yet of our regular male Green 7Y. Perhaps we should take heart that at Loch Garten a similar complicated ‘nest triangle’ this spring seems to have resolved peacefully with the regular male “Odin” successfully seeing off his rival.
Lastly, exciting news today of the first confirmed sighting of a Swallow over Loch of the Lowes! An expert local birder, Toby Green, photographed three flying with Sand Martins at the eastern end of the loch around midday- swallows in snow about sums up our strange spring so far!