Osprey Diary Tues 16th April

What a windy day at Loch of the Lowes, with the nest tree rocking backwards and forwards, and the birds clinging on for dear life. Between downpours this morning and warm sunshine this afternoon, the wind has been the one constant, and this has made the birds landings and take offs a challenge. At one stage this afternoon the male attempted liftoff into the wind, and was blown back onto his mate, who was not pleased to end up in an undignified tussle of feathers.

We have had some further intruder dramas at the nest too, with a new intruding bird visiting twice, and being seen off by our pair, and another osprey seen hunting over the loch this afternoon.

 There have been lots of questions about our female behaviour- is it normal?

Her seeming disinterest in some of the fish he is bringing her (this evening he tried bringing a fish in four times before she took it) isn’t anything to worry about- she doesn’t need huge amounts of food at this time of year and as long as she is eating a couple of times a day, she will be absolutely fine in herself. She doesn’t seem to be doing as much nagging as previously, encouraging the male to bring in more food and sticks, but we are not sure why.

 It is now 17days since her arrival and first mating, and still she has not laid any eggs. This is a lot longer interval than her fairly reliable usual 10 days, but this does not necessarily mean she will not lay at all. It may be that her age means her fertility is lower, and so early matings might not have produced eggs, or it could be the the cold weather prompted a delay (though whether birds like ospreys can do this consciously isn’t clear). She is not showing any symptoms of being ‘egg bound’ either and we don’t know if this occurs in Ospreys as in domestic birds.

 We would say that her continued interest in mating, and in nest building , are all good signs that there is still hope for eggs this season- lets all keep our fingers crossed. We must remember that for such a veteran bird, the very fact she has made it back to Loch of the Lowes is remarkable and even if she doesn’t breed this year, we can’t be too disappointed as she has made such a remarkable contribution to the UK osprey population so far.

 Osprey expert Roy Dennis tells me that he has had an aged female osprey return to her nest and defend it  despite not being able to lay eggs any longer, so perhaps that is what will happen her if Lady doesn’t not breed, which means we will get to enjoy watching her a little longer.  

 Lastly, a quick update on cameras:

Despite all our best efforts, including all the in depth preseason maintenance and upgrades done by our camera technician Lyndsay, we are having some further unforeseen camera problems. We are beginning to feel that the technology is ganging up on us on purpose! We know you share our frustration at things not always going smoothly, but please be reassured we are doing everything we can at this end. We have technicians coming in to do a major check through of the whole system on Thursday morning to find the gremlins responsible- there may be some continued disruption to the night vision camera in particular over the next couple of nights.  Meanwhile it seems most people are now getting the new version of our webcams streaming OK and are reporting it is a better picture than previously. If you are still having problems, and have tried using another web browser or updating your existing one, let us know and we can share the answers from our technical team, here to help others: Please email ospreys@swt.org.uk

Ranger Emma

Preface

What a windy day at Loch of the Lowes, with the nest tree rocking backwards and forwards, and the birds clinging on for dear life. Between downpours this morning and …

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