Osprey Diary at Loch of the Lowes- Weeks 4 & 5

It’s been a blustery few weeks at the Loch of the Lowes Reserve full of intruding ospreys, but the couple have been keeping their eggs well protected 24/7 while also maintaining their daily routine of fish, sleep, incubate and repeat.

On Tuesday the 18th of April, the pair were seen cooperatively ‘nestorating’ in preparation for the arrival of their chicks, with the female (NC0) rearranging sticks as the male (LM12) incubated the eggs and re-fluffed the moss cushioning.

NC0 tends to like to stay near the eggs at all times and has been avidly incubating the pair’s three eggs throughout the past fortnight, sometimes even ‘elbowing’ LM12 off them! That said LM12 does seems to love his time incubating and has been observed undertaking several 5 hour incubation shifts, usually gained in exchange for a giant headless fish!

Whilst LM12 has been known to undertake some overnight hours on the nest, it has been NC0 who has been responsible for night shift incubation duties, and despite the frost on her feathers at first light, she has tended to the eggs all night long to ensure they were kept toasty under her feathers.

It is around this time that we usually expect to see an increase in intruding behaviour from other osprey on the nest, as adults without territories become more persistent in their efforts to oust a weak pair. Thankfully they have been no match for the resident pair!

Wednesday was particularly eventful with six incidents of intruding ospreys. Although it has been tricky to catch identifying features of the intruders, we think we have had at least two individuals repeatedly intruding on the nest; an unringed bird and an English/Welsh osprey with a blue Darvic leg ring, possibly the female Blue 8C from Glaslyn again.

The jury is also out whether there has been a third bird with only a ring on its left leg – it is unclear whether this is a BTO ring or a white Darvic ring. Unfortunately we have been unable to get any clear readings on the ring codes to shed some light or identify where the intruders originate from.

At least three attempts have been made to land on the nest in the last few days, with one osprey even landing on the nest perch right in front of NC0 and another landing on her back (much to her annoyance) – we are unsure whether this was a mating attempt or a botched landing! All of the intruders were quickly scared off of the pair’s territory with both LM12 and NC0 chirping, flapping and flying in coordinated defense.

Just to prove that it isn’t all osprey action, we have also had an unusually brave pigeon visit the nest this week. Although the male didn’t pass any heed to the ‘intruder’ as he was incubating at the time. NC0 being her usual feisty self, soon left her nearby perch and chased the pigeon away.

Keep up to date with the daily lives of the ospreys as they defend their newly hatched eggs by watching the live webcam and by following us on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.


Ciara Duggan

Species Protection Officer

The Trust’s Osprey Protection Programme at Loch of the Lowes is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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It’s been a blustery few weeks at the Loch of the Lowes Reserve full of intruding ospreys, but the couple have been keeping their eggs well protected 24/7 while also …

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