Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Osprey braves springtime snow to keep eggs warm at Loch Garten

Female EJ, who turns 20 this year, and male partner Odin returned to the RSPB Scotland Loch Garten site last month for their ninth season together (RSPB Scotland/PA Wire)
Female EJ, who turns 20 this year, and male partner Odin returned to the RSPB Scotland Loch Garten site last month for their ninth season together (RSPB Scotland/PA Wire)

 

AN osprey is braving wintry conditions to incubate her three eggs while sitting in a “snow doughnut”.

Female EJ, who turns 20 this year, and male partner Odin returned to the RSPB Scotland Loch Garten site last month for their ninth season together.

EJ continues to sit on the nest at the loch in the Highlands despite being almost buried in snow.

RSPB staff said the snow acts as an insulator and that she and the eggs should be fine so long as the cold weather does not continue.

Julie Quirie, retail manager at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre shop, said: “I’ve worked at the centre for 10 years and I just can’t remember the snow ever being so bad.

“Poor old EJ does look pretty miserable in her snow doughnut, as we like to call it, but this is her 15th season here at Loch Garten and she’s well used to the worst of Scottish spring weather.

“And it’s really not as bad as it seems – snow is a good insulator, so as long as this snow snap doesn’t persist, EJ and her eggs should be fine. It still looks really uncomfortable to us though.

“It just shows how ospreys are well adapted to their environment – they’re able to cope with soaring temperatures in West Africa when they’re on migration as well as the vagaries of the Scottish Highlands in spring and summer.

(RSPB Scotland/PA Wire)
(RSPB Scotland/PA Wire)

“All being well, EJ and Odin should be proud parents by the middle of May, when hopefully the skies will be blue and the temperature rising.”

EJ and Odin are Loch Garten’s most successful osprey pair, with a tally of 17 chicks fledged from the nest.

The female returned on March 23 and Odin arrived just over a week later on March 31.

The RSPB expects around 30,000 people to come and see the ospreys and other wildlife from the centre this season.

Loch Garten has been home to breeding ospreys since the 1950s and was where the birds first returned after becoming extinct as a breeding species in the early 20th century, RSPB Scotland said.

Ospreys migrate from Africa, arriving in the UK in late March and April and leaving again in August and September.