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Three is a crowd, four is a mob.

Posted by on in Highland Perthshire
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It has been a chaotic 24 hours for our new pairing as we eagerly await their first egg. A large influx of ospreys from the continent has been making passage north after sheltering from severe weather in Iberia. Late on Friday morning a male intruder appeared but was swiftly chased off by the pair. A large female intruder then appeared and brazenly robbed our male of his fresh catch on the nest. She enjoyed her free lunch on the flat top tree. Later in the afternoon both females were observed on the nest together, apparently without animosity. Our male eventually chased the intruder to the end of the loch, leaving us wondering if that was the end of the incursion. Our female spent the night away from the nest as usual, which is quite normal behaviour.

Our male chases off the first female intruder. © Val Gall.

Our male chases off the first female intruder. © Val Gall.

On Saturday morning the female intruder returned and settled on the flat top tree. We were confident that our male would not stray from his new partner, but the temptation of another female proved too great! He mated with her on flat top tree. For our female, a model of restraint up to now, this was a step too far and a melee ensued as she attempted to oust the imposter. Our pairing returned to the nest and looked on as yet another female intruder bombed the first intruder on flat top tree! Our male, sensibly deciding that three females might be a handful, joined forces with his mate and chased off both the intruders.

Both female intruders take flight in formation. © Val Gall.

Both female intruders take flight in formation. © Val Gall.

Ospreys are attracted to sites with other ospreys in situ, and these later arrivals will be desperate to find a nest and a mate. They may also be using the loch as a staging post to feed and rest before moving on. It is pleasing that our pairing does not seem to have been greatly disrupted. Continuing fair weather provides good fishing, and our male is fulfilling his duties admirably.

A well deserved trout. © Val Gall.

A well deserved trout. © Val Gall.

Alex,

Species Protection Officer.

Original author: charlotteranger
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