Visitors are expected to flock to Perthshire’s Loch of the Lowes over the holiday weekend to see the wildlife centre’s newly reunited resident osprey pair.
Dubbed Lassie and Laddie, the male bird LM12 arrived at the reserve on Thursday.
Another male had been seen near the nest the previous day but the new arrival quickly chased the rival bird off.
Shortly after ensuring the intruder had left, the ospreys attempted to mate and, if this was successful ,the pair’s first egg of the season could be laid in just over a week’s time.
Rachael Hunter, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Perthshire Ranger, welcomed the reuniting of the pair for a fourth season.
“It’s great to have our resident pair back at Loch of the Lowes,” she said.
“They demonstrated that they are very familiar with each other by quickly attempting to breed.
“Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’ll be maintaining our round-the-clock watch on the nest to ensure the birds are protected from human disturbance and have the best possible chance of another successful season.
“LM12’s arrival is perfectly timed for Easter weekend so we’re expecting to be very busy with visitors over the next few days now that our resident birds have reunited.”
The female osprey LF15 arrived at the reserve on March 20. The pair have been breeding since 2015 and have successfully fledged eight chicks together.
Loch of the Lowes Visitor Centre is open daily from 10am to 5pm with 24-hour access to the reserve hides. The trust’s live osprey webcam ensures people from around the world can follow events as they happen.
Ospreys were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th century. They began to recover in the 1960s and around 260 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer.
This recovery is thanks to the efforts of conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust, whose osprey protection programme is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.