A LIVE stream of a Scottish osprey nest has captured the moment an egg was lost over the side as one of its parents fought off an attacking owl.

Woodland Trust Scotland said that the egg – one of three in the nest at Loch Arkaig in Lochaber – was lost “following the third strike in a prolonged attack” by a tawny owl.

The incident happened just after midnight on Tuesday morning, with the egg thought to have been eaten by a pine marten or badger.

The remaining two eggs in the nest – which belong to osprey parents Louis and Dorcha – are expected to begin hatching over the weekend.

Woodland Trust Scotland’s George Anderson said: “The Loch Arkaig ospreys usually suffer several night-time attacks by tawny owls each year, but this is the first time any harm has been done.

“Tawny owl chicks are very mobile in the trees before they are able to fly, and their parents get very nervous of anything they think might be a threat. Even though the fish-eating ospreys would not harm an owl chick, the owls don’t want them around.

“What usually happens is an owl will fly at the female osprey sitting on her nest. There can be an almighty thump and the osprey might be knocked off temporarily, but no harm is done.

“On this occasion though, one of the eggs went over the side in the kerfuffle. It is just one of those things that happens as native wild creatures encounter each other. An enterprising badger or pine marten will likely have made a meal of the smashed egg.”

Woodland Trust Scotland has been operating a live nest camera at Loch Arkaig Pine Forest in Lochaber since 2017, with support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The camera became a lockdown hit in 2020 and clocked up an audience of 400,000 worldwide.

You can view the livestream of the nest here.