Female osprey LF15 has laid her first egg of the season at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve.
The bird stood up at 7.10pm on Tuesday 4 April to reveal a mottled brown egg on the nest at the reserve. Male osprey LM12 returned a few minutes after and after a brief squabble to decide who would incubate the egg the female settled down for the night.
Charlotte Fleming, Perthshire Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust said: “LF15 gave us a first glimpse of the egg just after 7pm yesterday evening and LM12 swooped in to investigate shortly afterwards. LF15 has settled down to begin incubating the egg, which we would expect to hatch in about six weeks’ time.
“It’s now clear that the pair’s attempts at breeding have been a success and they are on track to repeat the hat-trick of chicks that were hatched in 2015 and 2016. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery our Osprey Protection team are watching the nest 24 hours a day to monitor their progress and also prevent human disturbance.”
Clara Govier, Head of Charities, People’s Postcode Lottery said: “Our players will be delighted that LF15 has laid her first egg of the season and our fingers are crossed for another successful year for the ospreys at Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve.”
Osprey eggs are around the size of a duck egg and are laid just one or two days apart. This means a full clutch of three eggs could be laid by the start of next week.
Since reuniting on Thursday 23 March the birds have been defending their nest from intruding male ospreys and bringing in fish from the nearby lochs.
This date of the first laying equals the earliest recorded egg at Loch of the Lowes on April 4 2005.
Ospreys were extinct in the UK in the early 20th Century but there are now around 240 breeding pairs thanks to the efforts of conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Our Osprey Protection Programme is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.