The record breaking osprey at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire has laid two more eggs, the 65th and 66th of her lifetime.
The osprey, affectionately known by many as ‘Lady’, has been returning to Loch of the Lowes, near Dunkeld in Perthshire, for an incredible 23 years.
The whole laying process was seen live on the nest camera, which is available to view online at scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/ospreycam
The female osprey and her mate are now incubating the eggs, which will take five to six weeks. Last year, one of three eggs hatched and the chick was satellite tagged by the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Since an osprey first arrived at Loch of the Lowes on 24 March, visitors have been flocking to the Visitor Centre to catch a glimpse of the birds. Members of the Scottish Wildlife Trust have free entry all year round.
Scottish Wildlife Trust Perthshire Ranger Emma Rawling said:
“The first egg was laid on 18 April amid very high winds and with an intruder osprey in the vicinity. The second arrived just after 1 am on 21 April but it wasn't until first light we got a good view of it as she rolled it delicately with her beak in the nest.
“We are over the moon as this effectively doubles our chances of having chicks hatch this year at this famous nest. We are also hoping our bird might equal her historic average of three eggs, as she is stilling mating with the male. If this happens, the last egg would be laid sometime over the next day or two.”
“Our 24 hour nest protection now becomes even more important. We will be monitoring the nest for as long as the ospreys are here and we hope we’ll see the eggs hatch in a few weeks’ time.
“We’re still learning so much about osprey behaviour. Having the camera in the nest and so many enthusiastic visitors and viewers around Loch of the Lowes at the moment makes this time of year incredibly exciting.”
Kate Pearson from People’s Postcode Lottery, whose players help fund volunteering activities at Loch of the Lowes, said:
“We’re delighted to receive this exciting news. Knowing that support from our players is making a difference to this vital work is immensely rewarding.”
With ospreys still recovering from extinction in the UK in the early 20th Century, every egg and chick is a precious contribution to the future of this iconic species.