We are all over the moon to announce that our female LF15 from last year has safely returned to the nest at Loch of the Lowes. She flew in at 16:42 this afternoon, surprising us all by her very early arrival – 13 days earlier than last year. Usually the male is the first to return to the nest site, so this year upon his return (hopefully!) our male LM12 may find a lot of his work is already done! Last year he arrived on the 22nd March, so any day now we are hoping to have a pair of ospreys back at the reserve.
We are sure it is last year’s female for a number of reasons. Her behaviour as soon as she arrived back was incredibly relaxed and she looked very much at ease sat in the middle of the nest. She also took a brief flight around the loch and appeared comfortable and familiar with the surroundings. Her appearance is also a great give-away. This female has a beautifully marked chest which is almost unmistakeable, with an obvious “Y” shaped pattern of dark feathers above her beak. From initial observations she seems in good condition and we are hoping to see her with a well-needed fish soon. Despite her long migration back she has wasted no time tidying up the nest, already demonstrating some classic nest cup digging behaviour and rearranging of the nest material.
We all hope she won’t be on her own for long, so keep your eyes peeled on the webcam and the blog as we will keep you updated on her progress and on any new arrivals. I am delighted that our osprey season has started so well already, and have everything crossed for another successful breeding season.
Happy osprey watching everyone!