KP0 has almost certainly left Loch of the Lowes on her migration south to West Africa. Her absence was noticed on Monday 22ND when the other chicks were seen on the nest calling out for fish. We would expect to see all chicks present in this situation, as they will happily accept ‘free food’ for as long as possible before having to make the effort themselves. The two remaining chicks are still preparing for migration and the male osprey is bringing in less and less fish for them, in an attempt to force them to fish for themselves. This will better prepare them for their long journey and help ensure their survival, so although it looks like the male is being cruel and ignoring his offspring, he is doing what is best for them in the long run.
Our ospreys will migrate to West Africa on their own and not as a family unit. This means that the young ospreys have to find their own way, despite never having made this journey before. While we are learning more and more about how the ospreys manage to navigate this huge distance, much of it remains a mystery. What we do know is that the birds use a combination of physical landmarks and being able to align with the Earth’s geomagnetic field to find their way. Unfortunately, between 40% and 60% of all young birds die in their first year, partly due to the treacherous migration and also having to adjust to living independently. Once the juveniles arrive in Africa, they will spend a couple of years there before migrating back to Europe in spring.
In other news, don’t forget about our next activity on the 27th August- Brilliant Bats! This exciting event involves a short presentation on the different species of bats likely to be found in Scotland. Following the talk, you can try your hand at bat detecting with our special devices that allow you to hear the sounds they make while hunting for food. Rangers will be on hand throughout the event to answer your questions about these remarkable and misunderstood animals. Booking is essential and prices are as follows: Adult £8, Concessions and Members £6, Child £3. Please wear warm outdoor clothes and bring a torch if possible.
Chris and Laura
This is just to give advance notice of roadworks which will affect visitors approaching us from Dunkeld. We will be open as usual, 7 days a week, 10am-5pm throughout this period.
The main road from Dunkeld to Loch of the Lowes (A923) will be closed for maintenance from 19th September for 2 to 3 weeks. (see map below, red marks effected area).
The good news is that usual access from Dunkeld to Loch of the Lowes (A923) will be allowed at weekends.
If you wish to visit please take the alternative route (Boat Road) through A984 from Dunkeld to reach us (see map below).
Apologies for the inconvenience.
The crows have been at it again, this time targeting KP2 and his fish. KP2 barely had time to take a bite of his fish in between attacks. Often the crow tag-teamed and whilst one was distracting KP2 at the front, the other came creeping up behind him in an attempt to steal the fish. Whilst the crows were trying to steal the fish KP2 could be heard repeatedly making an unusual noise that sounds rather like an angry duck. This is the specific call that osprey’s make to defend against crows. Eventually KP2 flew off before being replaced by LM12 to defend the nest. Several times later in the day LM12 could be seen chasing the crows off the nest, sometimes making the same unusual call.
KP2 chasing crows of the nest!
Hopefully KP2 won’t be as bothered by crows tomorrow.
Posted in Diary 2016
Tagged Crows, KP2
This morning I arrived to find KP1 on the nest with the crow, neither bird seemed particularly wary of one another and in fact seemed to tolerate each other’s presence for 5 or so minutes before another osprey (presumably LM12) chased the crow off the nest and across the Loch.
Recently several crows have been spending time in the osprey nest picking over the remnants of fish (photo below taken 17/8/2016).
All three chicks and their father can still be seen at Loch of the Lowes but before long should be heading off one by one to West Africa where the chick will spend a couple of years honing their skills and maturing before coming back to the UK.
Hope to see you all soon.
Visitor Centre Assistant
This coming Sunday from 2-3pm we have the latest in our series of summer talks.
Maltese EVS volunteer and bird photographer, Chris Cachia Zammit, shares his birding experiences on the island through his stunning photography. Malta has a wide range of birdlife including many species not commonly seen in the UK, particularly during spring and autumn migration, so this should be a fascinating talk.
The talk is free to attend (donations welcome), however normal visitor centre admission charges apply.
We can now confirm that the female Osprey (LF15) has left Loch of the Lowes and started her journey towards Africa. She left on Saturday morning, when the wind decreased and the weather improved.
Female osprey LF15 at Loch of the Lowes 2016 © Scottish Wildlife Trust
Meanwhile the young ones are still practising fishing, so far without success. The male (LM12) is still bringing in fish to the nest, even though now it’s less and less, trying to force the young ones to fish more.
We are now expecting the young ones to start to leave and eventually the male to leave the site and head south. So why not come here and see them live before they head off on their extraordinary journey?
Chris Cachia Zammit