Loch Arkaig's osprey pair will arrive back from their African migration this spring to find newly refurbished luxury accommodation waiting for them.
The nesting platform used by the birds for more than ten years has been rebuilt almost from scratch as, with the birds adding new material every spring, it was beginning to sag under its own weight. Bird experts often intervene to make a more solid platform in situations like this. In this case the tree was scaled by specially licensed raptor workers, Lewis Pate and Justin Grant.
Over a three hour period, Lewis and Justin removed a great deal of the old nest, before constructing a more solid platform complete with handy perch. Amongst the branches, twigs and moss they found the bones of chicks that didn’t make it, and a deer antler the ospreys must have spotted as useful building material.
The new platform was constructed with a few young spruce growing nearby - a handy use for these non-native conifers we want to remove anyway. Lined with plenty of soft moss and with a handy perch made from fencepost, the platform is now ready for the birds.
Osprey spend winter in Africa and the Loch Arkaig pair are expected back any time from mid-March through April.
Whilst the birds have failed to lay any eggs in the last couple of years they have spent a lot of time around the nest so fingers crossed they will have a more successful 2017!
Loch Arkaig Forest, which we have just acquired in partnership with local group Arkaig Community Forest has an amazing array of wildlife. Resident birds of prey include sea eagles, golden eagles and merlin as well as the ospreys.