First osprey egg of season laid at Scots wildlife reserve
LF15 has laid her first of the year at the Loch of the Lowes reserve in Perthshire.
The first osprey egg of the season has been laid at the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve near Dunkeld.
Female osprey LF15 laid her first of the year at the Perthshire reserve, owned by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, at around 3.45am on Saturday.
Osprey eggs are around the size of a duck egg. They are laid around three days apart and take an average of 37 days to hatch.
The birds of prey were extinct in Britain for much of the 20th century but began to recover in the 1960s thanks to conservation efforts.
Around 260 pairs of ospreys now breed in the UK each summer.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust's osprey protection Programme is supported by players of the People's Postcode Lottery.
Last year the first osprey chick emerged at the reserve on May 12, which was the earliest hatching since 2005.
Rachael Hunter, a Perthshire ranger with the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: "We've been expecting to see an egg for about a week so I'm delighted that a long wait is over.
"LF15 laid three eggs last year so we might see another one in around three days' time.
"LF15 has been keeping her egg nice and warm this morning, although LM12 came back to the nest shortly after 6am and caused a short squabble by trying to push her out of the way.
"Since then he has brought another fish back to the nest and took over incubating the egg to give his mate a chance to feed."
Sanjay Singh, senior programmes manager at the People's Postcode Lottery, said: "Our players will be delighted that LF15 has laid her first egg of the season.
"We're pleased that their support means ospreys are well protected on this scenic reserve."