Spring: Our Osprey are back!
Our iconic osprey are back. Every year they migrate thousands of miles from Africa to Scotland. They return in Spring, raising their chicks here, before returning to Africa for the winter. Osprey are a conservation success story in Scotland. Having been persecuted by hunters and egg collectors they were extinct in Scotland by 1916, but naturally re-colonised Scotland in 1954. Breeding numbers have been increasing ever since, with over 200 pairs now breeding in Scotland. We have three pairs nesting right on our doorstep this Spring!
Osprey nest in enormous ‘eyries’, laying two or three eggs each year. The female incubates the eggs for 37 days and guards the chicks carefully until they fledge, while the male is the main provider of food for both the female and young. They are monogamous, meaning they are faithful to one partner and the pair will return to the same nest site every year for many years. It is possible to see nesting osprey on Kinclune by booking one of our farm experiences, such as the pony walk, trailer safari or from our mobile hide.
Kinclune sits between three lochs: Lintrathen Reservoir, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and internationally significant wetland habitat; the RSPB Kinnordy Loch Nature Reserve; and Backwater Reservoir. These provide excellent, clean, unpolluted fishing for these extraordinary birds of prey. They hunt by flying over the water, looking for medium-sized fish close to the surface. They dive up to a meter into the water with their wings half-folded to catch fish with their long talons. In spring and summer we often see them carrying impressively heavy fish back to their nests or resting on a fencepost to eat.