Hello avid egg watchers!
Incubation is the current priority for our osprey pair, and for a while it seemed like they were the only species actively breeding on the reserve. It’s safe to say that this has been a long winter, and many species are a little behind in their usual breeding season. However, with the temperatures slowly rising and the leaves finally growing on trees we’ve seen some positive signs that other birds are starting to nest.
At the moment our nest box camera, just outside the visitor centre, is home to a blue tit pair who are mating successfully and continuing to develop their nest. On the 30th April their first egg was laid, and once the clutch is complete incubation will begin. We expect hatching to happen during mid-May. Here is some footage of the female blue tit revealing her first tiny egg:
In addition to raptors and songbirds, our wildfowl are also breeding successfully. Our two mute swans – nesting just outside the main osprey hide – have finished their clutch with a total of six eggs and are now incubating around the clock. We’ve also seen our great crested grebes attempting to build a nest. This species is known for the floating nests that they create; however in previous years at Lowes bad weather has hampered their attempts. Hopefully this will be a successful season for them.
For now, we are patiently monitoring LF15 and LM12 whilst they do a wonderful job of incubating their eggs, and are happy in the knowledge that the reserve will soon be home to not just osprey young, but many other species too.
Jennifer – Species Protection Officer
Did you know? – Blue tits have one of the largest clutch sizes of all birds, with a maximum of 16 eggs! (Alderton, 2017)
Alderton, D. (2017) New Encyclopedia of British, European & African Birds. p227. Anness Publishing Ltd.