It is amazing that this late in March it is still so bitterly cold and I don’t think anyone has seen the loch frozen so late in the year for a very long time. It was about minus 8 here last night so it was no surprise at dawn to find two thirds of the loch frozen, and whilst it wasn’t thick, it still enough to make diving for a fish a bit of a headache.
It is no wonder then that both our birds have been restless and have not spent much time on the nest the last day or so.There have been some matings between our regular male osprey and his new female, but there has been less of the other courtship behavior such as stick and nesting materials being brought to the nest. There doesn’t seem to have been any fish delivery by the male to the female at all today so far- she has been nagging him, but he has been largely absent all afternoon, perhaps having to travel further afield ( to the unfrozen river Tay perhaps?) to fish.
Both birds have been spending some time on a tree not far from the nest, an old wind scarred scots pine with a flat top. They are clearly visible from the hides when on this and other perches around the loch, but not on the webcam. Don’t worry- they’re still around.
We should mention that last year, our famous veteran female osprey turned up tomorrow, so we shouldn’t write off the possibility that she may still return safely and oust this young pretender from her nest.
I have been asked today, what is the earliest we could expect eggs? We usually calculate from the first day of successful mating (that is, more than two matings) then seven to ten days after is when we would expect eggs.
If this female is going to lay eggs it would be later next week at the earliest we would realistically expect to see this. Of course, if “lady” turns up and reclaims her nest and mates, we will have to start this countdown all over again.
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