Yesterday at Loch of the Lowes it appeared that we would have a quiet day, with intermittent incubation change-overs between our pair of ospreys.
Alas, this was not to be, as again we had an intruder osprey briefly appear around lunchtime, which caused our male to alarm call for a couple of minutes. A little while later, the female chased off a crow from the trees close to the nest, giving us a great display of her flying.
Early afternoon, after appearing to have not eaten for about 24 hours, the male brought a fish to the nest which the female immediately relieved him of and headed off to eat elsewhere while he dutifully took over from her and settled down onto the eggs.
Separately, after an absence of a few minutes, the female came down to the loch shore opposite the hides and enjoyed having a paddle as the male sat tight on their eggs.
The male did make us laugh though as not only did he come and sit down next to the female twice in the morning but also decided on one of his two nest material deliveries to put his clod of grass onto the female’s back before slowly sweeping his tail over her head and then back, knocking the grass off in the process!
Our only concerning moment of the day was when the male decided, for no apparent reason, to leave the nest and it was 10 minutes before the female returned, having been away, to find her clutch unattended – thankfully the weather was rather mild and the sun was shining so we are hopeful that they have not been affected by the experience. It turned out to be an eventful day after all.
Finally, we had our hearts in our mouths this morning when the male finally returned to the nest to relieve the female. She came off the eggs and flew straight off the nest while he stood with the half of fish which he had brought with him and promptly started to devour it on the edge of the nest. He somehow seemed to completely forget his duties and despite being desperate for him to start incubating, he left the eggs exposed for almost 30 minutes before remembering what he was meant to be doing and sat down!! Thankfully the weather was dry, not too cold and fairly still at the time.
We await the next instalment in the osprey saga.
Species Protection Officer