As the fourth week of incubation continues at the Loch of the Lowes Osprey nest, the big question one everyone’s lips is: when will the eggs hatch?
Provided both our Osprey parents keep up the incredibly good work they have been doing so far on the nest, diligently keeping the eggs warm and protected, we hope to have chicks by late May.
Ospreys are known to incubate for anything from 35 to 40 days, with the peak being between 37-39 days. This means the earliest we could possibly get a hatching for the first egg is the 19th, but it is more likely to be around the 21rd or so. It is noticeable that whilst the eggs will always hatch in the order in which they are laid, they often ‘catch up’ a little and are generally hatched within a day or two of each other , despite being laid up to three or four days apart. So hopefully we will have a full clutch by the end of the month- fingers crossed!
Will we be lucky enough to have chicks this year? Obviously we are all desperately hoping so, and none more so that our dedicated Osprey Nest Protection Watch staff and volunteers who invest so much time and effort in protecting the birds and their precious eggs to get them to this stage.
On the Osprey nest today, we have had some more intruder activity- the third bird was chased off by our male quite determinedly- and good fish deliveries (trout). After last nights steady downpours which left us all feeling sorry for our female, she has been basking in sunny spells most of the day.
Elsewhere on the Loch, our resident otter was seen again this morning by the folk on dawn watch shift (which is now around 4.30am!) and a Willow Warbler has been delighting all in the hides by singing all day beneath the window.
Our Ranger team has been out today at our Keltneyburn reserve, doing a spring breeding bird survey and early wildflower survey- amazingly this special meadow already has more than 40 species of wildflower in bloom and orchids appearing in leaf already! If you have never visited this reserve, make it a resolution to go this year- it is at its best in June, July and August when it is a blaze of colour and delicate blooms. If you’d like to learn more, why not join us there on the 16th of June for a ranger led Guided Walk 11am- 2pm. Booking and cost details on 01350 727337.