Today started warm and sunny, filled with peaceful birdsong and a gentle breeze stirring the white blossom of the bird cherry trees. Then the fun and games started.
Two intruder ospreys (possibly a pair) attempted to land on the nest before being seen off several times by LM12. One of the birds was fitted with a Satellite Tracker and had a blue and white ring. We are fortunate to have photographs of this bird from generous photographers who were in the hides at the time.
By early afternoon, the car park was overflowing (people having to park down the country lane) and families were enjoying the picnic areas. Then the black headed gulls decided today was a good day to dive bomb the ospreys’ nest … while a canoe hove into sight heading straight into the exclusion area.
There followed a lively time of phone calls, including to the police, while the rangers intercepted the canoeists and, of all the moments, the coach bearing our large expected party of Americans arrived in the visitor centre.
As busy days go, this one worked out well with very happy visitors, healthy, safe ospreys and the imminent human disturbance being dealt with quickly.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre will be closed on Tuesday 31st of May (next Tuesday) due to the electricity being shut off by Scottish and Southern Energy. This is to allow a new transformer to be put in place at East Fungarth, Dunkeld.
Unfortunately, this will mean a full closure of the Visitor Centre on that day. The double decker hide will be open to the public as usual with 24 hour access.
Please note, if you decide to visit on Tuesday 31st May – all toilets will be closed.
The webcam and all other cameras will also be down that day – but don’t worry, contingency plans are in place to protect the ospreys.
This disruption is completely outwith the control of the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
We will be as delighted as you to be back to normal on Wednesday 1st June.
In the meantime, we hope you are enjoying the webcam and watching the chick feeding sessions!
Great Crested Grebe. © Chris Cachia Zammit
Our resident Great Crested Grebes are building a nest on the loch below the osprey nest. They have been seen catching rather large fish (for them!) and taking it in turns guarding the nest (not necessarily sitting on it) before going off to fish or gather nesting material.
This nesting material can vary from sticks, to lily pads and even dead and rotting vegetation and the grebes are frequently seen ferrying this material about the loch. They have also been straying close to the hides, allowing visitors to get a view of their splendid plumage, before diving under the water in search of fish and the odd lily pad. Hopefully they will soon lay eggs and, crossed fingers, we will have little Great crested grebe chicks paddling about the loch.
Great Crested Grebe on the nest at Loch of the Lowes @ Chris Cachia Zammit
Visitor Centre Assistant
It was a fantastic day at Loch of the Lowes yesterday, with the hatching of our third and final egg of the season. Despite its shell being half encased by that of an older sibling’s, our newest chick managed to emerge allowing us to catch our first glimpse shortly after 1pm. The new arrival was lucky to receive its first taste of fish (from a big rainbow trout) very soon after hatching and we’re sure it won’t be long until this little one has an appetite the same size as the older chicks’!
Our trio of chicks at feeding time © Scottish Wildlife Trust
It’s lovely to see our pair demonstrating the same care and attention as they did with their previous brood last year. LF15 seems very reluctant to leave her chicks exposed, to the extent that her partner has taken to feeding her while she sits tight on the new brood! LM12 continues to remind us of his fishing skills by providing plenty of food for his hungry family, already treating the new chicks to a range of fish including salmon, rainbow trout and pike.
LF15 being delicately fed by LM12 © Scottish Wildlife Trust
Whilst we are delighted with the current progress of our ospreys, the recent sad events at Bassenthwaite are a stark reminder of just how quickly the situation can change. Nature can sometimes be very cruel and not knowing what lies around the corner, every day is a new challenge for our ospreys in the fight for breeding and survival. Our thoughts go out to the osprey team at Lake District Osprey Project, and we all hope to see their chick thrive and flourish as the season progresses.
Here are links to videos of the third chick which have just been released on the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s YouTube channel:
First look at third chick
Third chick emerges from egg
Third chick getting a first feed
At 1:14PM today we caught our first, brief glimpse of our third chick, having successfully broken free of its egg. However, LF15 very quickly sat down on the chicks, and in shuffling the egg shell pieces hid the newest addition to our osprey family from sight.
Our first glimpse of the third chick © Scottish Wildlife Trust
However, nearly 20 minutes later at 1:33PM, LF15 stood up off of the chicks allowing us to get a proper look at the third and final chick of this year’s clutch!
The third chick visible finally! © Scottish Wildlife Trust
The third chick announces its presence © Scottish Wildlife Trust
For a more detailed account of the events, please check back later on!
Species Protection Officer