On 22 March, a male Mandarin duck made an appearance at the Loch of the Lowes feeding station. Although Mandarin ducks are not native to Scotland, this did not come as a surprise to staff and volunteers as we have been visited by one of these males at the same time of year for the past three years now. Some Mandarin ducks do breed in the UK, having been introduced from Asia and having escaped from captivity.
Meanwhile, the local owner of a missing pet Mandarin duck heard about the sighting at Lowes and visited us in the hope of being reunited with her pet. We are still investigating the possibility as to whether the duck at Lowes could be the missing Mandarin, and staff are doing everything they can to assist.
As most of our followers will be aware, the reserve is lucky enough to be home to a pair of breeding ospreys which are at a crucial stage in their breeding season and, as they are a Schedule One protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, any disturbance to these birds could be a criminal offence. While doing all we can to help solve the mystery, we are restricted by an exclusion zone which must be adhered to for the protection and conservation of the ospreys.
We are sympathetic to the owner at this difficult time and all of us hope this situation can be resolved as soon as possible. If there are any updates, we will post them here.