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A birds eye view

Cameras giving millions a chance to see the beautiful osprey

Loch Arkaig was the last known breeding site of ospreys in Britain before the species was wiped out around the time of the First World War. The species has been making a gradual comeback since returning to Loch Garten on Speyside in the 1950s.

Woodland Trust Scotland bought Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in 2016 in partnership with local group Arkaig Community Forest. They have long term plans to restore the ancient forest while stimulating economic activity in the local community. The livestreaming nest camera offers a view of forest life with the aim of publicising the fundraising appeal for the restoration.

The osprey family’s story at Loch Arkaig began in 2017 when an inexperienced young male took possession of the nest. He was nicknamed Lonesome Louis as he had to wait 18 days before attracting a mate. She was named Aila and that first year they raised a single chick – Lachlan. In 2018 all three of the pair’s eggs were taken by a pine marten. In 2019 they successfully raised two female chicks – Rannoch and Mallie.

This year there have been three chicks born and the public have been given the opportunity to name them. So far they have been classified as: tag numbers JJ6, JJ7 and JJ8. They are described as:

  • JJ6: Male. The eldest. Hatched on 29 May. The calm, patient one.
  • JJ8: Female. Hatched 1 June. The born leader!
  • JJ7: Male. Hatched 3 June. The feisty one. Small and had to be assertive to survive.

The birds are expected to take their first flights by the end of the month before migrating south towards the end of August. To enable the public to see these babies cameras have been placed in the nest enabling millions to watch live pictures of the chicks. The Woodland Trust have given the public a chance to name them and are hoping that good names will be chosen. Watch this space for the final choice.

Nature is truly amazing and installing these cameras has given people the chance to see birds that not too many years ago had been wiped out.

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