Over the last few days at Loch of the Lowes it’s been made very clear that winter is not letting go just yet. We have been experiencing frequent snow showers, some of them falling heavy and fast, with intermittent spells of warm sunshine! This has occasionally been made all the worse with a northerly wind, bringing with it an icy chill that was whistling through the hides, osprey nest and over the ruffled waters of the loch. The ospreys seemed unaffected by the chill, however the unseasonal weather is cause for concern for swallows and sand martins, who rely on plentiful insect life for food.
Generally life at the nest has been fairly quiet and routine, however this has been occasionally interrupted by intruder ospreys, with these events becoming more frequent over recent weeks. Yesterday saw a classic example when at 2:20pm an unwanted visitor was observed flying towards the nest. LM12 was occupied on incubation duty at the time, so he made sure it’s arrival was known by a series of loud alarm calls. For the next few minutes there was a dramatic chase as LF15 ferociously swooped and dived at the intruder. The osprey was eventually seen off the reserve, but could be seen circling nearby for approximately half an hour before moving on. Buzzards have been causing a nuisance to our birds recently too, with even the sound of a distant call being immediately noticed. They have kept their distance so far this week, however this fantastic photograph was captured by one of our volunteers Marion which beautifully illustrates our female fending off an unwanted buzzard.
Whilst we hope that the rest of the week will be uneventful at the nest, I’m sure there will be more surprises in store!
Species Protection Officer.