At approximately 7pm last night, myself and my team were convinced that the smallest of holes could be seen forming in the third egg. However overnight the female did a great job protecting the chicks and egg, preventing any additional glimpses.
All morning, the staff and volunteers at Lowes have been glued to the tv screen, zooming in at every opportunity to check the status of our final egg. We have just captured the following image – is this the beginning of the third egg hatching??? Keep your eyes fixed on the webcam to find out!!
Is this our third egg hatching? © Scottish Wildlife Trust
We are thrilled to report that following another successful hatching this morning, our pair of ospreys now have two hungry mouths to feed. During the earlier hours of this morning, our female again appeared unsettled and was frequently seen listening to the eggs. The nightshift staff had a sneaky suspicion that something was going on, but mirroring the events of the first hatching, little in the way of changes in the egg was observed. But at 8.08am the female carefully stood up and a little chick could be seen lying between two halves of an opened egg shell.
First glimpse of the second chick © Scottish Wildlife Trust
Thankfully both parents appear to be coping well with their expanding family. The female is demonstrating just now delicate ospreys can be, carefully tearing off chunks of fish to feed to her little chicks. The male has also increased his efforts providing multiple fish to the nest today, although he was maybe a little too eager when he appeared with a rather large fish still alive!
Our pair of chicks successfully feeding © Scottish Wildlife Trust
The staff, volunteers and visitors at Loch of the Lowes are over the moon with our osprey’s success so far and are keeping a close eye on the final egg, hoping for a full nest of three out of three!
A second osprey egg has hatched this morning at Loch of the Lowes. The exact timing is to be confirmed, but the chick was first spotted by volunteers at 8:15am. The adult female attempted to feed it almost immediately with a fish saved on the nest from yesterday. A full update will follow later today…
Following the initial wave of excitement as we got the first clear view of our newest arrival, I can now share with you the details that preceded this wonderful sight.
Volunteers last night reported the female looking slightly restless but there was little in the way of the tell-tale egg hatching behaviour. However after 11pm the female looked unsettled and couldn’t seem to get comfortable sitting in the nest. When she stood up at 11.38pm the faintest glimpse of movement was seen and footage suggests this may well have been the first images of the new chick. Another brief definite movement was captured at 12.51am. Subsequently, both birds were incubating well, limiting the viewing opportunities until finally at 8.36am this morning our male stood up to show off his newest offspring.
Whilst both birds seemed a little surprised by their new addition, they appear to be coping well so far. The first real test of parenthood will be providing for and feeding the chick, so we will all be watching carefully for the first fish delivery and the chick’s first meal.
We are delighted to announce that our first chick has hatched at Loch of the Lowes! Please enjoy the views on our webcam and more news will follow soon!
First chick at Loch of the Lowes © Scottish Wildlife Trust
With all fingers currently being crossed for hatching over the next week or so, here at Lowes we’re hoping for as little drama as possible. However, when it does rear its head it rarely fails to disappoint. On Sunday evening we saw an intruding osprey with a white leg ring circling the nest and perching on the nearby flat top tree. Our female stoically held her ground and fended off the intruder after 5 tense minutes. Unfortunately the bird was too far away to get a clear picture of the ring, so the identity of the unwanted visitor remains unknown.
For those of you who watch the webcam, witnessing the female preening will not be an uncommon sight. Incubation is the ideal time in the season for the females to renew their worn feathers, and to keep them in top condition the birds regularly preen and oil them. Occasionally our female also treats visitors to a spectacular view of her bathing in the shallow waters at the edge of the loch, and one of our volunteers managed to capture a great photograph of one of these displays.
Female osprey bathing © Phil Hannah
As we are now in the period where egg hatching is possible we are analysing the female’s every move, waiting anxiously to spot any changes in her behaviour which may indicate the movement of chicks within the eggs. We have no way of knowing exactly when or even if these eggs will hatch, but we are all hoping that we don’t have too much longer to wait.