As of 18.00 tonight (31st August) - our birds were still quite static. Deshar has found a nice lake to fly around and Nethy is quite near a river - wise birds. When will they resume their "African Adventure"? As soon as we know - you will.
The previous blog was just to say goodbye and thank you from Team LG for your support. The blog will continue in a slightly different style until it becomes a forum - it will be a short information piece about the birds location - the latter part of this blog will give an example of what information you will get; the team is still around for a couple of weeks so if you are local and wanted to say goodbye in person - your presence would be more than welcomed.
If you are suffering from blog withdrawal then there are plenty more RSPB blogs which you can visit http://blogs.rspb.org.uk/mulleagles/ is my favourite.
OK - Update on the birds. Data was downloaded at 06.26 this morning (30th August) and the birds still haven't moved much from their previous locations.
As of 21.00 on 29/08/08 - Nethy was 1.35km SE of Fairford.
As of 04.00 on 30th August - Deshar was 2.6km NW of Hythe.
The data shows that the birds are still active and flying around. It is not unusual for birds to take a few extended stop-overs on migration. As soon as they move, you will know.
An update on the Chicks - As of 9pm yesterday (28th August) Nethy was still around the Fairford area, and as of 4am this morning (29th August) Deshar was still in Kent - he had actually flown North again for a short period of time, and has spent the last few days between Hythe and Canterbury. The birds are still quite active despite their lack of "progress" south.The map will be updated as soon as they make any significant movement.
As the season draws to a close at Loch Garten I think it is time to say au revoir from all the team - The Centre will remain open until 7th September so if you are in or around the area do pop in and say hello - even though the ospreys have flown there is still plenty to see; in the past few days we have seen the crested tit on a regular basis, flocks of crossbill and of course red squirrel and great spotted woodpecker along with the regular common birds which use the feeders.
I suppose the best place to start is a round up of the season, so for those of you who weren't around in late March, here is the season highlights in full
26th March - EJ arrives at the nest, fortunately she finds it empty and doesn't have to fight off any intruding birdsEarly April - Dreadful snow arrives and EJ sits alone on the nest getting covered in snow11th April - Orange VS arrives at the nest and immediately mates with EJ18th April - The first egg is laid21st April - The second egg is laid24th April - The clutch is complete with the laying of the third egg24th May - At 9.00 the first hatching is observed26th May - The second chick appears29th May - The third chick is born in the early hours of the morning26th June - The third chick dies5th July - The two remaining chicks received their leg rings and satellite tags - It is believed that the eldest chick is female, she was given a white leg ring bearing the letters AY and was named Nethy. The other chick was thought to be male, was given a similar leg ring with the letters AZ and was named Deshar. 20th July - Nethy take her first flight22nd July - Deshar follows in his sister's wingbeats and fledges too14th August - At 10.30 EJ arrives at the nest with a fish, she leaves it for the chicks and then circles higher and higher above the nest until she becomes a dot in the sky - this was the last time we saw her15th August - Our last sighting of the adult male was at 13.46, he arrived at the back of the nest with a fish, ate it all himself and then disappeared, never to be seen again17th August - 18.34 was the last official sighting of Nethy at the nest site
19th August - Deshar was last seen at the nest on 19.45, we had feared the worst after several days of absence only to be surprised when his satellite data came through
Add to this numerous intruding ospreys and EJ bringing in two fish in 22 minutes and all-in-all we have had quite an eventful season. So what was the highlight for you? I can't really choose one, but if I had to it would be between seeing EJ land on the nest in the last week of March, the week in early June when the three chicks were harmonious or the news that Deshar had started his migration. As for the low point - we all know what that was.
On the subject of migration may I take this opportunity to clear up a couple of things with the tracking.1. The birds don't necessarily fly in the straight lines which you see on the map - we get a position every hour (during daylight) and these are joined together.2. The map is not always updated daily - quite often the birds may stay in or around one place for a few days, showing these "micro-movements" will not add to the overall picture of the map, rest assured as soon as they make a significant journey from their previous location it will be reported.
I'd like to thank all of the bloggers for their comments, questions and suggestions - even those who didn't agree with what we were doing, you all added to the success which was the blog - I can remember getting the first comment from Ian Denton back in March and wondering whether the project was going to be a success or not - I think we know the answer to that question now. Over 250,000 people have viewed the webcam, read the blog or followed the birds on the tracking page - several schools have used the webcams to help in their children's education, new friendships have been formed and old ones rekindled.
One final request - If you have ever considered joining the RSPB please consider joining through Loch Garten - put PR08 (that is zero eight at the end) in the promotional code box and we at Loch Garten get accredited - doing this does help keep our operation up and running - thank you to the 42 people who have done this for us already. The final, and biggest, thank you of the season must go to Katie Fuller at The Lodge - she has worked tirelessly in the background all year, without her input this operation would not have been the overwhelming success which it has been.
Next year will see a new team in place and I hope that they have the success which we have had this season, I hope that you all continue to follow the birds over the winter and I hope you are all back on the webcams in late March 2009 awaiting the arrival of EJ. Please afford to them the courtesy and enthusiasm which you have all shown to Operation Osprey 2008. So from Claire Ansell, Claire Foot, Louise Gregory, Rachael Hudson, Keeley Spate and myself - "Team LG" - THANK YOU and GOODBYE
It is great to see that our two chicks are on their way South. All those fears about Deshar not fishing have been proven wrong, and Nethy, as someone has already stated, is currently eating her way down the centre of England. To be serious for a moment, this is just the first leg of a long and dangerous journey for the birds, they may at times stay in and around one location for a few days - maybe weather is preventing them from continuing their migration, or possibly they are taking an opportunity to replenish body fat. Please don't be too alarmed if it appears that a bird hasn't moved - assume no news is good news.
The Google Earth map will be updated on Tuesday
I have just checked on their positions and as of 5pm yesterday (24th August):
Nethy was in Fairford which is 10km east of Cirencester.
Deshar was near Brockhill Country Park, Folkestone