Life has been progressing smoothly for the breeding osprey pair at Loch of the Lowes. Almost a week has passed since LF15 laid her third egg and the pair have now settled down into a routine for the long waiting period until the eggs hatch. LF15 and LM12 must incubate their eggs on a near constant basis, swapping periodically for the male to fish and the female to eat, take a break and stretch her wings. So far the pair have been sharing incubation duties fairly evenly during the day, with LF15 incubating at night. Male ospreys do not sleep in the nest overnight, instead finding a nearby perch to rest and keep a watchful eye for intruders.
A sticky situation was caught on camera yesterday – LM12 brought in a large, V-shaped stick to the nest and proceeded to re-arrange it in several places, including on top of LF15’s head! The expressions and chirping she made revealed her opinion of the work!
There have been several intruders approaching the nest over the past few days. These are likely to be un-paired ospreys, either seeking a nest to occupy or a potential mate to couple with. On one occasion, a male osprey perched on a nearby Scots Pine before trying to land on the nest – LF15, however, made clear her views on the matter by alarm calling and the intruder swiftly departed. In another incident, an intruder osprey landed on the top of the nest tree itself – surprisingly our resident pair made little indication that they were bothered. It is possible that this osprey is familiar to them, perhaps even one of their offspring from previous years.
LM12 has also been persistent in seeing off other threats, including crows, buzzards, grey herons and even a lapwing! At this crucial stage of the breeding season it is important to be on guard for any potential disruption to incubation so that the eggs are kept safe and warm.
Andy & Jane
Species Protection Officers