As we approach the exciting time when we might be expecting eggs, our staff and volunteer team here at Loch of the Lowes have swung into action with our 24hr nest protection watch. I and my wonderful team of volunteers, staff a round the clock watch on the nest to keep our birds safe from disturbance, so I am often to be found doing rather unsociable hours- hence me posting this blog at 9pm!
I have relied on Lindsey our wonderful new Wildlife Interpretation Officer for news of today’s earlier events:
“High drama this morning as two intruder ospreys appear and circled the nest. They didn’t appear to making a serious attempt on it but to be sure our new male went and saw them off the premises. He can’t have had much impact though as they carried on circling each other a short distance away. Strangely soon after they were joined by a Red Kite and the three of them continued to circle and play on the thermals.
After the intruders had moved on our male made a lacklustre mating attempt when he briefly landed on our female before flying off: perhaps he was too unsettled to concentrate. There have been a couple of successful mating attempts during the day but nothing like yesterday’s amount. He’s brought in several large bundles of nesting material which she promptly rearranges as soon as he leaves, no matter how carefully he lays it.
We’ve had some fantastic views of him today as he flew over the Visitor Centre several times and dipped his talons into the loch to clean them right in front of the Tall Hide.
In non-Osprey news the Red Squirrels have been very active around the centre taking nuts from the feeders and burying them in various locations nearby while our Reed Bunting pair are regularly seen in front of the Tall Hide.
Over at our nearby Keltneyburn reserve the early spring flowers are appearing: The Ranger Team are just back from the first identification trip of the year with an extensive list of flora and fauna, including the dreaded tick. Yes it’s that time again already.
We were delighted to meet some of our blog followers this morning – we forgot to ask your names but we hope you enjoyed your visit. Please do come and say hello if you’re up.”
As for this evening, well it just got better: a fish finally arrived at the nest with our male Osprey after 5pm, but he proceeded to take it away again several times, eating most of it himself and seeming to tease our female with it, unwilling to give it up! She finally fed herself from it around 6pm, and then treated us to a wonderful display of talon washing in the loch.
The rest of the evening light was spent enjoying Reed Buntings, and skeins of geese flying over, as well as listening to the first bats appear: Soprano Pipistrelles and Daubentons over the loch.
Just to put the icing on the cake, just as dark fell, we saw our resident dog Otter swim out from his holt – what a way to end a day!
Tomorrow is ‘E-day’ the first possible day eggs could be laid – we can’t wait!
Today’s blog was brought to you by Lindsey and Emma.