Fish, ‘Flowers’ and the Battle of Blue ‘7C1’ – An Update from the Osprey Nest

After losing her long term breeding partner LM12, resident female osprey NC0 has taken the eye of several other male ospreys. A young, heavily marked osprey known to us in the hides as the ‘Dark Intruder’ appears to have been accepted by NC0 as her potential future mate.

It is clear from his behaviour that ‘D.I.’ is young and inexperienced, and most likely a 2-3 year old who has never bred before. He is roughly doing the right things by bringing in (small) fish, trying to mate, gathering nesting materials and defending the territory, however he has some way to go to prove himself capable of raising a family next year.

Judging by these clips, ‘D.I.’ might want to up the size of his fish deliveries on a more regular basis. Although he has managed to catch a couple of larger meals and even waited patiently for 2 hours for NC0 to return before bringing in a more modest offering, given the size of the fish she brought to the nest it seems that size does indeed matter!

Bringing his mate the osprey equivalent of ‘flowers’ (alder leaves) doesn’t quite cut it either – but he’s certainly trying his best to impress her and has been heard ‘skydancing’ over the reserve on multiple occasions.

With the whole of the summer for the pair to strengthen their bond and NC0 guiding him by shouting her needs at every given opportunity, there is plenty time for ‘DI’ to up his game and prove he is worthy of being her future mate.

Female Osprey Blue ‘7C1’ Intrudes on the Nest © Scottish Wildlife Trust Webcam

At this time of year it is not uncommon to see young birds returning to the UK for the first time making a nuisance of themselves on existing nesting sites. These youngsters will spend much of their first few years roaming the country looking for a vacant territory, or seeing if they can usurp one of a breeding pair.

On Monday 27th May a young 2 year old English osprey (Blue 7C1) landed on the nest, and kept both the resident female NC0 and her new young male partner the ‘Dark Intruder’ busy. She was eventually seen off the nest by NC0.

What was particularly interesting about this young Cumbrian female (returning to the UK for the first time), was that she had also been seen at two nests in Wales prior to landing at Lowes; Clywedog on the 19th May and then intruded at Dyfi on the 24th.

She also has some famous Welsh osprey lineage, being the grand-daughter of the long time breeder Mrs G from Glaslyn (with her famously dark plumage) and the daughter of male Blue 9C, whose sister Blue 8C (both also from Glaslyn) intruded on the nest at Lowes in 2023 and 2022!

It just goes to show how both webcams and colour rings contribute to our understanding of the dispersal and population growth of osprey both in the UK and overseas.

If you catch sight of a colour ringed osprey please report them to the Roy Dennis Foundation


You can follow how the season continues to unfold by watching the webcam or popping into the Visitors Centre, which is open each day from 10:30 – 5pm.

The Wildlife Protection Team at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, with funds awarded by Postcode Planet Trust.

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After losing her long term breeding partner LM12, resident female osprey NC0 has taken the eye of several other male ospreys. A young, heavily marked osprey known to us in …

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