LADY, the UK’s oldest known breeding osprey, has laid her 70th egg at her nest on a Perthshire nature reserve.
The bird produced the egg in the early hours of this morning at the Loch of the Lowes reserve. The reserve is run by the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), which celebrates its 50th anniversary today.
She laid her first egg of the spring on Sunday and could yet produce another, as ospreys usually lay two to three eggs each season.
Staff at the reserve expressed their delight at the news. SWT Perthshire ranger Emma Rawling said: “It is unbelievable that our famous osprey at Loch of the Lowes has laid an egg to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
“It is almost like she knew it was a special day and wanted to mark the occasion.
“Osprey conservation wouldn’t be possible without the support of funders, such as players of People’s Postcode Lottery, and dedicated volunteers who give their valuable time to Scottish Wildlife Trust.
“It has given us the ability to ensure the best habitat for the wildlife on our reserves, so the Trust must also thank everyone that has made the past 50 years so successful.”
On average, osprey incubation lasts between 37 and 39 days, so the earliest hatching would be on May 20.
Lady, believed to be 28 years old, returned to Scotland as usual this spring after spending the winter in Africa.
Yesterday conservationists warned people not to disturb breeding birds after she was scared away from her nest hours after laying her 69th egg on Sunday when two men went too close to it.
Police were called and warned the men away.
SWT urged people to be aware of signs warning not to disturb breeding birds.