Another glorious sunny day here at Loch of the Lowes which is being enjoyed by all, birds and humans alike. Both our ospreys have spent time sunning themselves, on and off the nest, and appearing to enjoy a wee doze while incubating. Our female, affectionately known as Lady/Isla/Marge, did seem to get too warm and was panting. It is quite a sight to see an osprey pant and anyone watching the webcam at the time will have seen us zoom in to get a closer look. The panting is perfectly normal; ospreys have no sweat glands so if they get too hot they have to pant to cool down just like a dog might do. They changed over a short while after so she will have got a chance to sit in the shade and cool down. A pattern seems to be emerging as he brought in a huge pike just after 5pm again, she had been calling for a while and we’d watched him fly overhead a few times before he appeared with the fish. Ospreys, like any wildlife, are unpredictable but this seems to becoming a regular pattern. As I write he’s sitting on the eggs enjoying the sun, long may it continue.
In other wildlife news the first Cuckoo was heard here at Loch of the Lowes and at one of our other smaller reserves Brerachan Meadow. Our ranger training team were up at the Meadow doing a wildflower survey where there were lots of early wild flowers including Wood Anemone, Lesser Celandine, Water Avens, Globe Flower, Dog Violets, Cuckoo Flower and Spignel, a Scottish specialty and important indicator species that tells that our meadow is in good health. While they were there they also saw Dipper, Swallows and Reed Bunting and heard Curlew and Oystercatcher. These are all great signs of a healthy ecosystem for this little known but beautiful reserve.