14 April 2024

Livestream ospreys welcome first egg of season

14 April 2024

An osprey which became an online star during the first lockdown and his mate have welcomed the earliest egg of the season at their Highland nest.

Male osprey Louis and female Dorcha arrived back at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber on March 28 and March 30 respectively.

The first egg of the season was laid just before 11.15am on Sunday April 14, with the moment captured on livestream.

Woodland Trust Scotland has been operating a live nest camera at the forest since 2017 and it became a hit during the first lockdown, clocking up 400,000 views worldwide in 2020 when Louis nested with a previous mate.

George Anderson of Woodland Trust Scotland said: “Our pair Louis and Dorcha were back much earlier than usual this year, as were many other ospreys across the UK. We don’t know why. It might be down to fair weather along the route from West Africa.

“The earliest Arkaig egg we have seen before was on April 21, so this is a whole week earlier than usual.

“Louis and Dorcha arrived back at Loch Arkaig on March 28 and March 30 respectively.

“Fingers crossed they will have a full clutch of three eggs by next weekend.

“All being well, we will have chicks hatching in late May. They will be flying by July and crossing continents by summer’s end. The magic of that just never gets old.

“We love being able to share this wild slice of woodland life with people all over the world via the internet.”

Woodland Trust Scotland and Arkaig Community Forest bought the woodland site in 2016 from Forest Enterprise Scotland under the national forest land scheme.

Their aim is to restore native woodland habitats, reconnect local people with the management and stewardship of the site, and use the woods to underpin sustainable rural development in the nearby communities of Achnacarry, Bunarkaig and Clunes.

Woodland Trust Scotland has been operating the live nest camera with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

British Commandos and Allied Special Forces including the Free French trained at Loch Arkaig during the Second World War and it was also used as a location for a scene in the film Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows.

The forest is home to wild boar, sea eagles, golden eagles, ospreys, pine martens and deer among many other species and the area is the ancestral home of Clan Cameron.

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox