The osprey nesting at the Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve near Dunkeld has laid her first egg of the season.
The female known as LF15, arrived back at the reserve on March 18 and was joined by her mate LM12 a week later, on Good Friday.
Since then reserve visitors, rangers, and webcam viewers from all over the world had been waiting patiently for the first egg to arrive.
Ospreys typically lay between two and three eggs in a season. Once extinct in the UK, there are now around 240 breeding pairs of ospreys thanks to the efforts of nature conservation charities including the Scottish Wildlife Trust, whose Osprey Protection Programme is supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Charlotte Fleming, Perthshire ranger for the Scottish Wildlife Trust, said: “LF15 has given us an anxious wait this year, however we’re delighted that she has laid her first egg. With any luck numbers two and three won’t be far behind.
“There were a number of changes in her behaviour including high pitched calling and constant fidgeting that made us sure she was about to lay, and managed to get settled down to incubate soon afterwards.”
“The male has visited the nest several times today. Initially he seemed more interested in an old fish tail than the egg, but once he had finished his breakfast he returned to the nest, inspected the new egg briefly and then settled to incubate it, giving LF15 a well-earned rest.”
Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, added: “We’re delighted that with the support of our players thousands of people around the world can watch this natural drama unfold through the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s webcam. Hopefully the pair of ospreys at Loch of the Lowes will have a successful season after hatching three healthy chicks last year.”