Tayside and Central Scotland

First egg of the season for osprey ‘Lassie’

Ospreys in nest Image copyright Scottish Wildlife Trust
Image caption Lassie returned to the Dunkeld reserve last month

A young female osprey known as "Lassie" has laid her first egg of the season at the Loch of the Lowes nature reserve.

The bird returned to the Dunkeld reserve on 18 March, two weeks earlier than expected.

She was joined by her mate a week later and their nest was eagerly watched for the first egg by viewers around the world via webcam.

Lassie, known officially as Lowes Female 15 or LF 15, hatched three chicks at the site last summer.

She took over from long-term resident "Lady", who reared 50 chicks there.

Image copyright Scottish Wildlife Trust
Image caption Viewers from around the world can watch webcam footage from the nest

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."

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,

The Osprey Protection Programme is supported by the People's Postcode Lottery.

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