Osprey Diary at Loch of the Lowes – Week 7

The egg-hatch waiting game continues but the action hasn’t stopped for our incubating resident pair. In the past week we’ve seen an intruding osprey that had us questioning whether we’d met them before, a helicopter causing male osprey LM12 to hold onto his feathers, and a weekend hiatus that created unease of when we would see our soon-to-be chick-father again!

We left our ospreys in last week’s blog soggy and pretty miserable looking. The wet weather continued later on in the week and a damp incubating osprey has become a common sight.

NC0, the resident female osprey, and the Loch of the Lowes sleeping at night while incubating her eggs. The damp dew drops are visible on her feathers.
A damp and sleepy NC0 © SWT Webcam

Last Friday we had a visit from an unringed osprey, who came to perch on the bough that protrudes out of the nest. NC0 seemed fairly unbothered by the unexpected visitor and softly flapped her wings at the guest, prompting the osprey to shuffle down to the edge of the branch, before he left on his own accord to then spend 45 minutes preening on the nearby ‘frustration nest’. NC0’s relatively calm response to this intruding osprey, (compared to other encounters we’ve witnessed) and the subsequent nonchalant manner the osprey hung about, led us to question whether this could be the pair’s offspring from 2020? Unfortunately, since we were unable to undertake ringing that year, we will never know for sure.

NC0 sitting calmly as a intruder osprey perches next to the nest.
NC0 shows little reaction when an intruder osprey visits the nest © SWT Webcam

Later in the day we had a visit from another intruding osprey. This one stayed airborne, hovering high above the nest out of the camera’s view. The webcam did, however, capture the incubating LM12’s defensive calling response.

Saturday morning arrived with a welcome gift to the deserving NC0, after spending another night incubating in the cold rain. This treat was in the form of a brown trout brunch served with the head on! Generally, male ospreys will rip and eat the head off their catch before presenting their breeding partner with the fishy seconds. Perhaps LM12 was trying to keep his mate sweet before he disappeared on his annual pre-hatching hiatus and left us wondering when NC0 would get her next ‘meals-on-wings’ delivery.

Resident male osprey LM12 presents resident female osprey NC0 with a large brown trout on their nest.
LM12 delivers a whole brown trout © SWT Webcam

While our male was missing in action, NC0 kept close to the eggs, only leaving the nest briefly for toilet breaks. Sunday passed with still no sight of our male and NC0 nestled down for another night alone on the nest.

36 hours after the mystery disappearance we caught wind that LM12 had finally returned from his weekend holiday. NC0 let us know first, with the webcam capturing her calling out, before her mate sheepishly plonked down on the nest empty-taloned! Thankfully, LM12 finally got the not-so-subtle hint and returned in the afternoon with a lovely large fish.

Monday also brought high winds to the Loch, but the breeze picked up considerably when three RAF helicopters flew right above LM12’s head.

Multiple intruding ospreys were sighted throughout the rest of the week, with several testing the resilience and defensive resolve of the resident pair. After reviewing the footage it appears that the same unringed intruder that appeared comfortable in the presence of NC0 on Friday was back again. After spending 30 minutes preening on the ‘split birch’, a favoured perch of the resident birds, the interloper decided to introduce itself at close quarters. After three attempts at landing on the nest, any tenuous, potential family ties were quickly severed, with the resident pair making their feelings clearly known with wing flapping and some impressive talon flashing and chasing by LM12.

As the week heads to a close, life on the nest seems to have settled back down into normality. LM12 appears back to his usual self, taking turns at incubating, keeping the intruders at bay and providing NC0 with some fishy treats. Of course it’s not all ospreys at Loch of the Lowes. A gaggle of Canada geese goslings have been stealing some of the limelight and its been hard not to be distracted by the cute fluffballs goosing around!

Now of course the excitement grows for the hatching of the first osprey chick. All being well we hope to welcome the first of this year’s wee ‘bobbleheads’ in the middle of next week!

LM12 and NC0 look up at the camera as they sit together in the nest
NC0 and LM12 sit together in the nest © SWT Webcam

Make sure you stay tuned to the live webcam to follow the hatching and keep up to date with the daily lives of the ospreys by following us on Twitter or Facebook for regular updates.


India Thomas

Species Protection Officer

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

Help protect Scotland’s wildlife

Our work to save Scotland’s wildlife is made possible thanks to the generosity of our members and supporters.

Join today from just £3 a month to help protect the species you love.

Join today


The egg-hatch waiting game continues but the action hasn’t stopped for our incubating resident pair. In the past week we’ve seen an intruding osprey that had us questioning whether we’d …

Posted in

Blogs -

Stay up to date with the Scottish Wildlife Trust by subscribing to our mailing list Subscribe now

Back to top