Last year, people all over the world followed the exploits of our Loch Arkaig osprey pair, thanks to a live web stream supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery. The great news is that the birds are back, the camera is on and the whole magical story is beginning again.
A number of ospreys made fleeting appearances on the nest on Friday. It was difficult to identify who was who, but on Saturday a female clutching a fish settled on the nest only to be chased off by a second bird – immediately recognisable as Aila – our female from last year.
Louis and Aila reunited
Saturday morning saw a few more appearances but then in the afternoon - nothing. Had they decided the weather was so rotten they were off back to Africa? You wouldn’t have blamed them but thankfully no. Come Sunday and the competition had been driven away and we were left with birds strongly identifiable as Louis and Aila. Gifts of moss, sticks and fish were presented and by evening, attempts to mate were underway.
We named the male Lonesome Louis when we first saw him last year, because it took him nearly three weeks to get a girlfriend. He was the very epitome of a dopey teenager, bringing sticks when she wanted a fish, and being a bit slow to do the needful. Not so this year. There is no way to put this delicately – he’s very focused on the task at hand!
Hopefully we can expect eggs to be laid by the end of the month and chicks to hatch perhaps 37 days after that.
Last year the pair hatched three eggs but only one chick – Lachlan - was raised successfully. As novices this was a good result. As both birds now have the benefit of experience behind them we can cross our fingers they will do as well or even better in 2018.
Our Loch Arkaig osprey nest camera gives a tantalising insight into the wild heart of an ancient Caledonian pine forest, thanks to support from Players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Join us on the journey - follow all the action and help us track the highlights by commenting at the foot of the page.