After what seems like many days with not much to report on the osprey nest at Loch of the Lowes except endless incubation, we have had a lot of excitement today.
This afternoon a third osprey turned up , eliciting the usual intruder response from our male. However, this bird was very persistent and did not back off quickly ( as is normal) but dropped into the Flat Top tree and sat boldly there on and off most of the afternoon. Visitors to the hides reported seeing this bird, a female osprey judging by her dark chest band, being pursued by our male in flight over the loch for the best part of an hour. Although he was alarm calling ( a short sharp ‘cheap’ noise) he was described by one person as looking ‘a bit half hearted’ in his attempts to chase her off. Meanwhile our resident female was sat on her eggs ignoring the whole thing! When I took over shift at 5pm this evening, the intruder female was still sitting on Flat Top tree, but was then dive bombed by our male again, and chased off to the west . When he returned to the nest to take a turn incubating , our resident female went to Flat Top tree to sit for a while- just to make sure the rival bird was gone!
There is a lot of speculation this afternoon about the possibility that this intruder female could be the same rival female who courted our male on Flat Top tree back in March. This is possible if she did not find a nesting opportunity elsewhere this spring. Without any rings or good quality close up photos to identify her plumage patterns etc, we can’t be sure though. It could explain why the male seems a bit uncertain whether to treat her like an intruder or a friend. The big question is, will she be back?
Q: Why are the birds still working on the nest and why is the male suddenly bringing in sticks again?
A: The birds have to do something with their instinctive energy to provide, and the male especially may be starting to get frustrated. It is also possible that the birds are going through their normal behaviour for this stage of the year- in a ‘normal’ year we would have 1-2 week old chicks by now and the parents would be building up the nest sides for safety.
Q: There were reports of ospreys in Yorkshire last week- was this Blue YD?
A: Thank you to everyone who passed on reports of ospreys in Yorkshire- there have been a number of sightings- none of these however, can be confirmed as being Blue YD. Several were ringed birds with other numbers, or unringed, and the one reported with a transmitter, alas there were no photo’s or confirmation available. But we are all still looking!
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After what seems like many days with not much to report on the osprey nest at Loch of the Lowes except endless incubation, we have had a lot of excitement …