A new female osprey has joined the resident male LM12 on the nest at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve in Perthshire.
Trust staff got their first look at the ringed female on Saturday when she made a fleeting appearance on the nest. She has since spent more time on the nest on Sunday and Monday, and LM12 has made attempts to breed with her.
The female osprey has been identified as NC0, a bird who was ringed as a chick in 2016 around Loch Ness. This is likely to be just her first or second year back in Scotland.
Our Perthshire Ranger Sara Rasmussen said: “LM12 and NC0 are still fairly unsure of each other. He has shown some defensive signs but there have also been attempts at mating. Birds can take time to build a relationship, and so far they aren’t sharing fish in the same way that established pairs would do.
“There is still some chance that LF15 will return this week. If she does it will be very exciting to see what plays out, and whether she is able to reclaim her nest.”
There was further drama on Sunday afternoon when another osprey, thought to be a male, dive-bombed the nest at high speed.
Sara Rasmussen added: “This is a fantastic reminder that there are lots more ospreys around, and they are jostling to find nests so that they can breed. At some points in previous seasons we’ve seen upwards of half a dozen birds over the nest at Lowes in a day.”
Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th century. They began to recover in the 1960s, and now an estimated 300 pairs of ospreys breed in the UK each summer.
This recovery is thanks to the efforts of conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust. Our Osprey Protection Programme at Loch of the Lowes is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
The Trust’s live osprey webcam ensures people from around the world can follow events as they happen.