THE new female osprey at the Loch of the Lowes Wildlife Reserve, near Dunkeld, has laid her first egg of the season.
The osprey delighted conservationists by unexpectedly flying in to the reserve last month.
She soon set about mating with the resident male although it was not known if his original partner would come back and re-claim the nest.
The new osprey’s predecessor, known as ‘Lady’, did not produce any chicks last year and has not been seen this year.
Charlotte Fleming, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Perthshire ranger, said: “At around 10.30pm last night, the new female osprey laid her first egg and this has caused plenty of excitement for the staff and volunteers.
“Now there is an egg on the nest, the Osprey Protection Programme will begin in earnest.
“The Trust operates a 24-hour watch on the nest site to ensure the safety of the birds and the egg.
“Hopefully, in the coming days there will be more eggs as ospreys can lay up to four in a season. We would encourage people to visit scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/ospreycam and see if they can spot the next egg when it is laid.”
Ospreys can lay up to four eggs, usually around 48 hours apart. This raises hope that there will be chicks on the nest this year.