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...
Read more about Loch Garten
Rothes has stuck with Ilha de Unhocomozinho for another week. The last two points of the week (5pm on 19th, Friday and 9am on 20th, Saturday) caught her over the sea N of the island. On a couple of fishing trips, I'm assuming. So not much to report from her, we'll see what next week brings.
Meanwhile here at Abernethy, some idiot (ie me) wrote that the snow was getting a shift on - so we promptly got another 6 inches and it's properly cold - last night was -17oC according to Richard's thermometer. I don't think it got above freezing all weekend - more importantly my boiler stopped working resulting in ice inside every window this morning... That's now fixed - so I can enjoy the spectacular views - it's sunny during the day and everything is incredibly beautiful and with the birds all singing it's pretty fantastic to be here right now (if you can take the cold...)
More next week.
I've entered the data for last week (up until 9am on Saturday 13th). Rothes spent most of the week on Ilha de Unhocomozinho, and then on Friday 12th both points showed her over the sea to the NE (though not far off shore) - I got excited that she might be heading off somewhere - but the last point showed her back on that same island! It was probably just a fishing trip, but you can imagine her seeing other ospreys starting to head N on migration and the number of ospreys in the area slowly decreasing as the adults head N...
Here at Abernethy the power line route is cleared, so that's one job done. The snow is getting a shift on - though there's a fair few heaps lying about here and there where the tractor was used a snow plough. We're working away at getting the tracks cleared to make them passable. With miles of tracks it'll take a while.
Now since it's February - here's a contribution from Douglas.
It’s great to see a bit of greenery again! The snow has had a good shift up here, though there are still patches. The daylight hours are growing and the birds have found their voice again, spring is just round the corner now….great! I heard a woodpecker drumming on a tree near Forest Lodge just the other day, I mentioned this to the site manager and he said it has started nearly the same week for years, funny how nature’s clock ticks away and keeps great time.
My time here has flown by and I was not looking forward to leaving at the end of March, so was very happy when I was offered an extension to my stay via a short contract doing the Caper Watch at the Osprey Centre. Very early mornings observing these magnificent birds strut their stuff on the Lek and telling the public a bit about them. I have been applying for other conservation jobs and am at least now getting interviews, this voluntary placement and the training given to me has been invaluable. Anybody thinking about voluntary work…go for it!
The forest has taken a hammering, broken limbs and whole trees being displaced from the sheer weight of the snow. We’ve had a good deal of tidying up to do but order is returning and I am always amazed how well the forest disguises damage with new growth in the spring and summer months.
What wildlife have I seen since my last ‘blog’? Several Red squirrels in recent days, I think they have sensed the thaw too, three separate Cock Capercaillie sightings, four Hen Capercaillie, several Buzzard sightings, Bullfinches, Tits and of late, a pair of Raven have regularly flew overhead. Oh and I should mention the three small frogs found in a water filter when we were replacing it, they have been released and am sure are very thankful of their freedom.
We have new volunteers arriving on Saturday and I am looking forward to introducing them to this wonderful place. Not sure what work is on the cards just yet but I am sure Alice will keep us busy.
So thanks again for the comments, I hope you are all getting a feel for how much I have enjoyed myself up here.
Until my next piece of creative writing,
Rothes had another uneventful week - I've entered her data, but the satellite didn't catch her leaving Ilha de Unhocomozinho, though she has been moving about on the island. I wonder if many ospreys have already left from that area to start their migration north?
Meanwhile here at Abernethy everything's been getting a bit manic. With the snow melting enough to get out and achieve things (read that as track clearing, hung up branch sorting etc), plus getting the GO for the mains power, we've been working pretty hard. We've started clearing the route the trench will take - marking the route for the cable laying and clearing the debris from all the snow damage. Once that's finished we just have to hope for a window in the weather - apparently we're expecting more snow...
Anyway, more next week.