It was a joyful moment for twitchers this week when a mating pair of ospreys returned to their nest in Lochaber- in spite of being struck by lightning and raided by a pine marten last year.
Ospreys Louis and Aila arrived at the Loch Arkaig site shortly after 7pm on Thursday night, and began mating attempts within moments.
Louis was seen delivering his first fish of the season to Aila by yesterday morning.
Woodland Trust Scotland staff, who manage a live video feed from the nest, hope to see eggs laid before the end of the month.
George Anderson, of the trust, said: “It is such an emotional moment to see the birds back on the nest.
“They look in fantastic shape. Fingers crossed they will have a more successful year.”
Last year, three eggs were taken by a pine marten. The birds stayed around despite this but then the camera went dark after being struck by lightning.
The technology to view the ospreys has been completely refurbished over the winter.
Mr Anderson explains: “We have fitted a back-up second camera which we can switch over to if the first one fails.
“Surge protection has been added to various parts of the chain. One of the team from the local internet provider, Lochielnet has been trained on how the system works so they can deal with most problems without waiting for a technician to come from elsewhere.”
And to deal with unwelcome visitors to the nest, such as the pine marten, the Woodland Trust is making sure every route to the nest is covered.
Mr Anderson explained: “The tree had been marten-proofed previously – with a slick covering around the lower part of the trunk making it too slippy to climb, and lower branches trimmed to remove jump-on routes.
“In addition an electric tape has been fitted higher up the trunk. This will deter any pine martens with a mild shock if they reach that far.
“We take a few reasonable steps to give this nest added protection as we want people to be able to see the osprey family successfully raise some youngsters, but martens are not a threat to the survival of ospreys as a species.
A live camera stream will run until the autumn when it is hoped some chicks will be fledged.