Each year, the ospreys at Loch Garten have people across the world gripped in their tale of violence, adultery and... well... fishing.
This year's diary, written by the Osprey Information Assistants at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre, picks up the saga where we left off.
We update the blog at least twice a week - more often when there's high drama here. We hope you enjoy reading as the nest-side story unfolds...
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Maya Angelou, the great American poet, once said "Achievement brings its own anti-climax" - is that true for our birds?
As you no doubt know our two chicks have now fledged and flown the nest, "Nethy" a week ago today and "Deshar" the following Tuesday (Doris..... let me know who got the closest with the predictions as a fluffy osprey is on the way) - fledging is a great sight to see because we know that the birds have taken the next step in their development. The down side is that we cannot always guarantee birds on the webcam for our Internet viewers. I hope you don't feel that we have hit an anti-climax, though I know a few do. It hasn't been helped by our recent troubles with the cameras... on, off, on again then off....and now back on (hopefully)....I blame Nethy.
We have changed the camera angle to allow us to find the birds when they do decide to perch off the nest and I hope that you are getting some good (close-up) views of the birds. If there is a bird on camera we will find it for you, sometimes a little distant but we will do our best.
So what has been happening this week then? Apart from the chicks learning to fly it has been quite an interesting few days. EJ is "out-fishing" OVS by at least 2:1 ..... In the past seven days the largest fish that OVS has brought in has been about 12", that is the same size as the smallest of EJ's offerings; this morning she brought in a 20" rainbow trout which kept the chicks going for a good few hours.
Nethy does seem to hog the fish when it is delivered but that changed with the rainbow trout, Deshar grabbed it and, despite all the efforts of Nethy, kept a hold and had a good feed......He's a survivor too. We have had plenty of intruding osprey over the past few days too, at one point there were 4 birds in the air and one in the tree, so even I can work out that at least one of those was an intruder.
I hope that tomorrow will see some satellite data coming through to us for the past few days, if so we will get it into the tracking page and maybe see where our two chicks actually do go when they are out of site......my bet, just behind the nest where we can't see them, but you never know. Talking about satellite tracking, in a couple of weeks time we will start to see the start of the chicks migration..... as the "fledging game" attracted so much interest why don't we have a go at the "migration game". I would like to know who will go first and when.
Nethy to leave on 16th August (Dust off your spreadsheet Doris) - closely followed by EJ, Deshar and OVS.
It does seem strange talking about migration, It only seems like yesterday when we were putting out the cameras and awaiting the arrival of EJ, doesn't time go quickly, before long it will be Christmas. Talking of the special day.... if you are scratching your heads for a present for grandchildren, nieces or nephews, why not get then a Wildlife Explorer membership with the RSPB...... We will put together a pack and get it delivered for them closer to the time; my gran joined me when I was little and I haven't looked back since. You would also be supporting us at Loch Garten which is very much appreciated - simply put PR08 when asked for a code and we will be credited......... and you don't have to queue up for ages in crowded shops either.
I would like to take this opportunity to again thank all the people who continue to support us, your kind words, comments and gifts do mean a lot; the girls are enjoying the chocolates and I am enjoying the Glenfiddich.
The next blog will be midweek when we will do another catch-up of the recent events...unless of course something extraordinary happens, until then....................................
If you want to specifically help the Loch Garten Osprey Team 2008, you might consider supporting the RSPB. You can do this online via the RSPB website: http://www.rspb.org.uk/join, if you add the code PR08 (that is zero eight), your membership will be credited to the Loch Garten team.
The camera is now back online, sorry for the inconvenience.
More to follow soon!