An afternoon in the Top Hide at Lowes

Here is a lovely piece written by Alwyn, one of our trusty volunteers, who is a regular Guide in the Hide at Loch of the Lowes. This describes her time in the top hide on Monday 29th August (last Monday)and gives a different view of Lowes.

Reflections from the hide

At this point in the osprey season each sighting of our osprey family feels particularly special to me – will this be the last time I see them this season, or even ever? Will our male LM12 set off on his migration before I am back up next week? I feel that today will be my last chance because by the end of August last year they had all gone. Fingers crossed.

Vicky, who volunteers on a Monday morning has just left after handing over to me the events of the morning: another Great Crested Grebe family has been spotted with 3 chicks, and a fish was delivered by our male osprey around 1140. She described how our young female chick, PH2, was calling frantically for the male as she chased off an intruding osprey about an hour before the fish delivery. We agreed the fish was a well-earned reward for her efforts!

At the moment PH2 is sitting out of sight no doubt eating her fish and the adult male is nowhere to be seen. The surface of the loch ripples with the wind, some noisy crows take the ospreys’ favourite perches on a silver birch, and sand martins and swallows feed on the wing. I am torn between passing my time reading an academic paper about osprey migration or scanning the treeline for what might be my last sighting…….I can read the paper anytime…….It is a waiting game.

And I don’t have to wait long before I see a bird in the distance looking like an aeroplane with it’s landing gear down. It took me a few minutes to trust my instinct that it was an osprey with a piece of fish in its talons. As it got closer it was joined in the sky by another bird, most definitely an osprey, showing off its distinctive white body, and by the time I had finished watching it hanging in the air above the loch, the fish-carrying one had disappeared! A few minutes later I could hear an osprey calling from the trees opposite the hide, but wherever it was perched was out of sight.

And so the afternoon passed, with visitors to the hide joining me in scanning the treeline and sky for a sighting. At 5 o’clock it was time to call it a day, after only a further fleeting glimpse of an osprey behind the trees and intermittent teasing calls from PH2 as if to say I am still here. A couple who had waited patiently for a couple of hours for a sighting had just left the hide minutes before saying “I bet you as soon as we go she will come into view” and they were right! PH2 flew from her hidden perch over to the nest calling out frantically. The male must be visible to her with a fish I thought, based on the intensity of her calling and that she was now ‘at the table’ ready to be fed. Then I saw him come in with a large fish which he took to what we call the ‘flat topped tree’ and he began to eat it.

Just as the couple felt that somehow their experiences were influenced by luck or fate, I too couldn’t help but feel they had come into sight to allow me one final chance to see them before they head off.

Alwyn
Guide in the Hide, Loch of the Lowes

Preface

Here is a lovely piece written by Alwyn, one of our trusty volunteers, who is a regular Guide in the Hide at Loch of the Lowes. This describes her time …

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