Wildlife Diary 1st May

What beautiful spring sunshine here at Loch of the Lowes today – perfect for May day!

As our Osprey incubation continues, we are entering the third week of the eggs development, which last between 37 and 40 days approximately.  By this stage the tiny embryos inside the egg shell will be forming well and the egg will be full of veins and an air-sack will be developing in one end. Some people have asked if the female can hear the chicks inside yet (it is commonly seen that close to hatching our female will tilt her head ‘listening’ to the eggs). This is because chicks a few days before hatching start ‘pipping’ which can be heard as they prepared to break through their shells, but it is a bit early for this just yet. It is more likely at the moment that the female is listening acutely to her environment- alert to the slightest noise that might pose a threat (we have noticed both birds listening to other bird calls on the loch, especially when there is an alarm call for a predator) or indicatation her mate is on the way in with food.

Other people have asked if the recent wet and cold weather here is normal or has adversely affected the birds: in reality this is about normal for April in Scotland  and though there have been some nasty hail showers and sleet, both birds incubated through it all and reassuringly the eggs have never been left unattended for long- certainly not enough to pose a threat at this stage.

We’ve been asked if there are images available from our in house Blue Tit nest box cameras this year- these are around our woodland bird feeding station area and as fascinating as the Ospreys at times.  Currently we have two nests occupied by Blue Tits, busy nest building frantically, but with no eggs yet, and hope to stream these mini cameras live into the visitor centre shortly. I will ask one of our handy wiz kids in the office to sort out some screen captures from this camera for you over the next few days and will post them here for you to enjoy- and more news as it happens.

Lastly,  mention of a special event coming up:

Sunday the 20th May 2pm meet the Author of “Lady of the Loch”

Helen Armitage author of “ Lady of the Loch” will be doing a book sighing at Loch of the Lowes.

 A Free event with VC admission/ membership. No booking required

Review coverage for LADY OF THE LOCH/Helen Armitage

‘Armitage’s delightful little book details this conservation success story and pays loving tribute to the pioneering female osprey, Lady, who has certainly done her bit to swell the UK osprey population … As Armitage’s affectionate book makes clear, Lady is one tough, magical, absolutely marvellous old bird.’                 Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

 ‘A wonderful book … an inspiring account.’           Simon Milne, Chief Executive, Scottish Wildlife Trust

 ‘I loved [this] book. It is an incredible story and written most beautifully. I learnt so much from reading it.’             Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman, OBE

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What beautiful spring sunshine here at Loch of the Lowes today – perfect for May day! As our Osprey incubation continues, we are entering the third week of the eggs …

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