Ospreys investigate the Loch of Strathbeg nest

Ospreys investigate the Loch of Strathbeg nest, June 2017 (Photo: Brian Sandison)

Opsreys are an almost daily sight here at Loch of Strathbeg over the summer, often to be found fishing over the loch. So far, none had thoroughly investigated the artificial nest and platform which were constructed for them last year – so far that is, until now!

On 26th June, we were excited to find no less than four Ospreys circling in front of Tower Pool Hide and using the nesting platform and perch. Two of those birds remained for almost a week, making full use of both the nest and the adjacent perch as a base during the day and apparently leaving every evening to roost elsewhere. Visitors were treated to great views of the Ospreys feeding, bathing and apparently even adding material to the nest. Reserve regular Brian Sandison was able to get some great shots of the birds in action – many thanks Brian!

Osprey lands on Strathbeg platform

During their stay, the pair used the platform to rest and eat...

Osprey flies across Low Ground, Loch of Strathbeg

...in between frequent sorties across the Savoch Low Ground and loch. (Photos: Brian Sandison)

Ospreys tend to prefer using existing nests rather than building their own from scratch, and so in spring 2016 we began a project to try and tempt in a pair of Ospreys to nest. First, a nesting pole and platform were erected by volunteers from Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution. Then, earlier this year an artificial nest was added with the expert help of staff from RSPB Abernethy.

Construction of Osprey platform at Loch of Strathbeg

Constructing the artificial nest on the platform, Spring 2017

Our hope is that this year’s visiting pair found this starter home and its surroundings to their liking. If it met their requirements, then perhaps next year or in subsequent years they will return earlier in the spring and set up home on the platform. We’re keeping our fingers crossed!

James Butcher
Intern, North East Scotland Reserves