The first osprey chick of the season has hatched at a Highlands forest made famous by its association with a flying creature of a more fantastical nature.
The tiny bird began emerging from its egg at 3pm on Friday at the Loch Arkaig pine forest, and viewers keeping tabs on its progress over the internet caught their first proper glimpse of it at 8am yesterday.
Loch Arkaig is the location for a sequence in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where the title character and his pals cling to a dragon as it flies over the trees before it drops them off into the loch below.
Jill Donnachie, of Woodland Trust Scotland, explained that three eggs were laid and expressed hopes that two more chicks could be hatched this week.
She added: “Parents Louis and Aila are now in their third nesting season and are shaping up to be fantastic parents.
“They raised their first chick, Lachlan, in 2017.
“Last year their clutch of three eggs was taken by a pine marten and this year they have come through a turf war with tawny owls nesting nearby.
“The owls were diving at the osprey nest almost nightly for a few weeks but it all eased off eventually.
“We think the owl chicks may have fledged so the parents are no longer so anxious about having such large neighbours.
“While Louis and Aila have had to contend with fierce wind and rain in Lochaber this week, they have remained attentive with their incubation.
“It’s a delight to observe their often comical altercations involving large sticks. We look forward to watching their next few weeks of parenthood unfold.”