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Ospreys arrive back in Scotland in late April /early May from their winter home in West Africa. If the pair are well established nest building and mating soon follows, with 2 to 3 eggs laid incubated for 5 to 6 weeks, hatching in late June.
Fed by both parents, but with the male doing all the fishing. Bringing back up to 6 fish a day, mainly pike and brown trout. The chicks grow rapidly, and within 40 to 50 days are ready for their first flight. Fed by their parents for the following 20 days after fledging, then expected to fend for themselves. Late August return to West Africa.
Loch Garten- From the RSPB hide at Loch Garten cameras provide close up views into the nest. Red squirrels live in the surrounding pine forest. Siskin and greenfinch often visit the bird feeders. Wiped out by egg collectors in the late 19th century, returned to breed at Loch Garten in 1959. Numbers are slowly recovering- in 2003 160 pairs of Osprey bred successfully in the UK, in 2006 200 pairs, the majority in Scotland. Several pairs now nest in Osprey England - the two most well know locations being in Rutland Water and the Lake District.
Loch of Lowes, the hide is only a few hundred metres from the nest. Redstart, golden eye, sand martens skimming just above the surface, maybe if very lucky merganser with 5 chicks right under the hide. A pair of Osprey have bred here since 1969. If you are patient you may be lucky and see the male osprey bringing in a fish.
Puffins | Osprey | Gannets | Squirrels
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