What a busy day today here at Loch of the Lowes. As well as lots of people coming to enjoy the early summer sunshine on the reserve and to see your our now HUGE osprey chick, we also had fabulous children’s craft activities today- with some great Osprey nest collages made by lots of young folk.
We also this afternoon hosted a large group of worldwide journalists who were brought along as part of a tour organsied by Visit Scotland in connection with Disney-Pixar’s new animated film “Brave”, to give them a flavour of Scottish landscape and wildlife- we were very proud to share our fantastic wildlife with them, and hope they all enjoyed their brief visit with us.
Our Osprey chick is twelve days old now and absolutely enormous, and hardly resembles the wee fluffy thing that hatched such a short time ago. It is entering what some of us fondly call the “ reptilian” phase as they do look a bit like dinosaurs with their down darkening and feathers starting to ‘pin’. Of course it has eaten so much in the last week or so, it is no wonder it has grown so fast- it has the makings of a record breaker. It has also been waddling across the nest more, and even having a go at moving some sticks and moss like mum and dad.
There was a worrying moment early this morning when the wee chick was left alone on the nest for over 5 minutes, which had me biting my nails. Both parents left the nest and there seemed to be some misunderstanding over who was supposed to be looking after the chick- and it soon looked rather sad and cold all alone. Thankfully mum was back to the rescue before any opportunistic predators realised a vulnerable chick could make a good meal.
Other dramas today have included an intruder osprey flying over this morning, and our male osprey having a spectacular aerial dog fight with two Buzzards over the loch, in which he admirably defended his family. He has also brought in three fish so far today- and good sized ones too.
Lastly in other wildlife news, our Great Crested Grebes continue to nest in front to the hide, in the lily pads, and seem to be doing well on at least one egg. There was a mass hatching of insects from the loch today and this attracted lots of Blackheaded gulls, Common terns and Swifts hunting over the water. Lastly our second Blue tit nest box has hatched its eggs today- at last count four chicks were visible- now live on nest cam in the Visitor centre every day.