After the excitment of last Tuesday, we have not seen any sign of HJ or indeed EP visiting the nest. The local ravens have been regularly hanging about the nest, and have taken to removing all the twigs that were brought in by the ospreys last week. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed for next year and hope that one of the males returns to the nest.
After an absense of about a week, the peregrine falcon has made an appearance again today. Happily sitting in the sunshine on the Tower for Remarkable Raptors day. At high tide, a large flock of about 200 curlew wheeled over the merse edge and are now happily munching on the exposed mud.
latest figures from the BTO Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) show that four of our breeding waders have reached their lowest levels since the survey started in the early 1990s.
declines of 19% for Oystercatcher, 18% for Lapwing, 40% for Snipe and 13% for Curlew.
Another bird that has recorded major decline in recent years is the farmland bird the Skylark, with a significant 7% decline between 2010 and 2011 , and since the BBS started in 1994 a 20% decline.
I feel that these figures reflect some of my recording for WeBs counts this year as well. It is without a doubt weather related this year.
Talking to Hannah at the Mull of Galloway today the Guillemots and Razorbills have done badly this year again but the Kittiwakes have so far done a lot better.
What a fantastic week it's been. Last Friday evening 14 of us were at the Crook at dusk, bat detectors at the ready, and were rewarded with many signals picked up from the pipistrelle bats which were darting back and forth all around us. The moth trap set gave us a time to pour over the books on Saturday morning and identify the eight moths which had been caught ( and later released ). Paul's superb photos show up the beautiful detail which is easily missed by the naked eye. Then on Tuesday; to enter the osprey viewing room and see a bird sitting on the nest really was the cream on the cake for me. What a privilege it is to live in such a fantastic spot for wildlife!
Turns out blue HJ is a very young male bird. He was ringed at Caerlaverock in 2010 as a chick, so he is only 2 years old. Most ospreys don't return to the UK until they are 3 years old, but they have been known to return early to look for mates and suitable nest sites. So HJ is clearly hoping to get ahead of the game.
HJ's mother was unringed but his father was green AW, one of Wigtown Bay's chicks from our female HD and original male BS, hatched and ringed in 2004. So looks like HD's grandson has returned to the nest. Sadly, green AW has not been seen this year back at the Caerlaverock nest, so it's great to see one of his offspring, looking fit and healthy, back in the area. Both HJ and EP have been visiting the nest today. No doubt EP thought his luck was in when a new bird showed up in the area. With 2 males about, maybe we'll have 2 nests next year? Hey, I can but hope!!
EP our male from previous years, that has been hanging about in the area has just turned up on the nest. HJ didn't seem upset by this, so maybe he's a she?? A raven is flying around too. All go today!!