Another busy day here at Loch of the Lowes, with our regular Opticron Optics fair and our very successful Wildlife Spy events, where we all learnt to improve our field craft techniques, and learnt to use camera traps to find out what wildlife is around at night.
We had a second visit today from our very curious baby Red Squirrel who popped in the open visitor centre door to say hello- curious youngsters of all species often explore a lot this time of year and can get themselves into trouble. Our 2012 Red Squirrel kits are distinctive with their darker tails and lack of long ear tufts, and can be regularly seen racing around the trees and feeders near the Visitor Centre.
Our young Osprey Blue 44 took another couple of dives at the water today but did a lot of shouting to his dad this afternoon for food- 40 minutes at one stage of consistent nagging! When dad did finally appear with a fine wee Perch, it was still alive and flopped over the edge of the nest before he could take a bite- how disappointing!
We have now not seen our female Osprey since Friday morning and we are beginning to suspect she may have begun her southwards migration- can it really be autumn in the air already?.
It is completely normal for the female of an osprey pair to leave first as her primary instinct to lay and nature her chicks has been fulfilled. Its seems osprey males take responsibility for ‘supervising’ their growing young and providing for them for longer in late summer- though we are not sure how much ‘teaching’ they do as osprey chicks fishing attempts seem to be purely instinctive.
On average our female has usually left Loch of the Lowes by around the end of the first week of August, though she has stayed until midmonth before. It can be hard to judge if she has gone altogether- sometime she might hang around further afield in our area, fishing , fattening and fittening herself up before the long journey.
All we can do if keep a very keen eye out for her locally and wish here the very very best for her journey ahead- and keep all our fingers crossed for her safe overwintering and return next year.