Loch Lomond NNR & Flanders Moss NNR
Since their natural return to Scotland 66 years ago, breeding ospreys have gradually spread and established across the country. They are particularly successful around Loch Lomond and the Trossachs owing to the huge number of lochs in the area, which provide a plentiful food source for fishing ospreys.
When visiting Loch Lomond NNR in the summer months, it can seem hard to believe that osprey numbers are still lower than that of golden eagles in Scotland. You are almost guaranteed a view of a soaring osprey high over head or perched at the top of a tree. It’s mad to think that this was an uncommon or non-existent sight not too long ago!
However, ospreys returning to breed in Scotland have had a mixed bag of success this year. Due to bad weather and strong winds in France and Spain back in April, several birds failed to return from Africa. They would have been blown off track and become lost or perished at sea, or maybe they simply arrived too late to breed.
At both Flanders Moss and Loch Lomond NNR the ospreys made it back safely and in time to breed but the nest at Flanders sadly failed due to strong winds. We will fell the unstable tree with part of the nest still in it to make sure this doesn’t happen again and hopefully the birds will return to breed in the same area next year.
At Loch Lomond NNR, it’s been a good year for ospreys! We’ve been keeping an eye on the birds and it seems that the juveniles are almost ready to leave for Africa. They will depart in the next few weeks and make the long journey to their wintering grounds. It’s always sad to see them go as they become such a familiar sight and sound during our summer trips to the reserve. We will eagerly await their return next year and fingers crossed for some good weather on their travels south!