Wildlife Diary 8th April

The important news first: no eggs yet on our Osprey nest, though the female is looking increasingly more inclined to stay on the nest and has rearranged the moss in the nest cup many times today, which is a good sign. We are watching for her beginning to sit in the nest cup, and obviously checking every time she stands to see if there is an egg beneath her. Eggs can be laid any time of day or night, but historically she seems to favour mornings- could tomorrow be the day?

There have been some great questions sent to us recently on our dedicated osprey email address: ospreys@swt.org.uk . If you can’t find an answer to your osprey enquiry in our in depth FAQ section on this blog (see the top menu bar) you can always ask!

Mostly people have been asking what if the ‘old’ male, Green 7y might still turn up- the answer is yes, given that at many Osprey nests in theUKospreys are still arriving from migration.  Others have asked if he does, will he fight for ‘his’ nest and female- the answer is yes, but there in no guarantee he would win over a younger, stronger male. Also some people have asked if the female would play any part in ‘choosing’ between rival suitors- the answer is probably yes, as she can repel mating attempts, and refuse courting gestures if she is not pleased!

Speaking of not being pleased, our new male has had a mixed reception from her today, not carrying off all his partner duties too well.  After supplying a fish this morning at approx 9.50am, and successfully seeing off a buzzard near the nest, he disgraced himself this afternoon. He brought in a very large pike to the nest , and when he looked like he was about to leave with again, the female lunged at him and took it, and tried to fly off with it herself , whence he promptly stole it back and exited the nest- she left him in no doubt of her displeasure. Finally this evening, around 7.30pm, he caught a huge trout, and proceeded to eat it nearby the nest, not sharing again, and then promptly dropped it, wasting what could have been her dinner!

Your ranger was out walking in the wonderful Perthshire hills today and was lucky enough to watch an Osprey hunting one of our nearby lochs- this bird took four unsuccessful full tilt dives into the water before it caught a pike on the fifth dive. The skill, accuracy and sheer determination of this bird was incredible to watch and has left me with a renewed appreciation of just how very hard won every fish that makes it back to the nest is.

In non osprey news today: there have been whooper swans on the loch ( probably stopping by on their way to Iceland for the summer) , as well as Goosander, and large numbers of sandmartins. Red kites were again seen in the sky overhead  too- we are hopeful they may nest nearby. And just in time for easter, primroses and cowslips are blooming around our meadow.

Lastly, here’s a  wonderful photo by  Ross Forsyth of our new osprey couple together:

by Ross Forsyth

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The important news first: no eggs yet on our Osprey nest, though the female is looking increasingly more inclined to stay on the nest and has rearranged the moss in …

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