Osprey Visitors 11th August

Great exciting on the Loch of the Lowes osprey nest this morning just after 9.30am when two ospreys landed on the nest- but it was immediately apparent from the birds body language that it wasn’t our normal pair.

One of the birds was clearly our male , who arrived with a half eaten fish , and  then frantically mantled on the nest -a  classic defensive posture with dropped wings. This meant he was very clearly not happy with the visitor and was defending his territory ( and his breakfast!) as you can see below:

Intruder Bird AJ1 on the Lowes nest 11th August 2014- copyright SWT

Intruder Bird AJ1 on the Lowes nest 11th August 2014- copyright SWT

The second bird was not our female- she has left already last week on her journey southwards to her wintering grounds. If she had been around the loch there is no doubt she would have showed up in response to the provocation of another female on her nest!

A quick check of the birds legs revealed she was ringed and thanks to our great HD camera Jonathon was able to zoom in a capture some good shots of the Darvic ring which read Blue AJ1 .

Blue AJ1- copyright SWT

Blue AJ1- copyright SWT

With some nifty help from Roy Dennis, we were able to establish that this bird was ringed by Bob Swann near Dornoch on 24 June 2012.  It was one of three chicks in a nest, and is now a two year old female. How great for Bob to know she has made it back to the UK safely as a two year old, and let’s hope she settles to breed somewhere next year- good luck AJ1!

This highlights two things: firstly how exciting and useful it is to report Darvic rings on birds-it reveals fascinating stories of survival and science. Secondly, just how much our knowledge of ospreys is till improving all the time- we have previously all underestimated how many 2 year old birds make the migration to the UK as they don’t nest in their first year back, but have a good old ‘practise run’ .

So keep your eyes open folks and report those rings!

Ranger Emma


About rangeremma

Perthshire Ranger Scottish Wildlife Trust
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