Osprey season at Loch of the Lowes is certainly our busiest time, and we are very lucky every year to be joined by hard working, residential Species Protection Officers (SPOs) whose motivation and dedication allows us to run round the clock security and behavioural observations of our birds. You will be hearing from them all over the next few weeks as they help provide you with regular updates of our ospreys’ progress.
To start them off, I would like to share with you James’ account of his first osprey watch shift.
“It has been a very wet and overcast day here at Loch of the Lowes, and since daybreak the rain has been on and off. Despite the gloom there has been plenty of action down at the loch, with Great Crested Grebes, Mute Swans and Goldeneye all seen courting before breakfast time. It was also a real treat to see a large group of Sand Martins diving and weaving over the surface of the loch early in the day.”
“Our two ospreys have continued with their preparations of the nest which now has a very deep hole in the centre (perfect for the eggs!) and thanks to our male’s (LM12) consistent stick and moss collection, is looking fine and well maintained. While the market for sticks and moss seems to be good, fish were slower in coming this morning and after seeing a small pike brought back to the nest just after 7am, it wasn’t until lunch time that the second catch appeared, quickly taken away by our female (LF15) to eat in a Silver Birch tree opposite the hide.”
“Despite the rain dampening everything around them, the birds seem to remain focussed on their task at hand. Several mating attempts were observed during the morning and we anticipate that a first egg should hopefully be laid in the coming week – fingers crossed! The pair will continue mating until the female has produced a clutch of up to three (occasionally four) eggs.”
Species Protection Officer.