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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It's been another hectic week. The list of jobs needing done doesn't seem to get any shorter, but fortunately many hands make light work and all that - though it may only be me who really enjoys floundering through bog searching for spruce trees to cut down (exotics). Yesterday (Tuesday) we spent much of the day heather burning (muirburning) on part of the reserve. Burning patches in the heather benefits grouse and can also help with tree regeneration - more seeds 'take' when they fall on shorter / barer ground (this depends on not burning any young trees that are already there!). Anyway yesterday was dry enough to burn and when it's dry enough to burn it's always a target to try and get out and burn - you never know if there will be any other suitable weather before the end of the burning season. Overnight it rained - so today it was back to the exotics!
Jayne checked on Rothes' movements yesterday - so the map will already be updated - though as she's still on Ilha de Unhocomozinho there's not much else to say about her. She obviously isn't ready to drag herself away from her island idyll.
The feeder webcam is still down. Ian's been trying to sort it, but hasn't had a breakthrough yet. Re the comments about how the osprey nest is looking - we're due to reinstall the osprey nest cameras in March which is when we'll 'fix' anything up there that needs fixed - but it's looking pretty solid and undamaged by the winter, which is good.
That's all for now.
It's been another busy week here at Abernethy. Our internet and email went down last Friday and we didn't get it back up and running until Yesterday (Wednesday) - hence the slightly later in the week than usual update. Having no emails to deal with is a fantastic motivator to get out and work through some of the other jobs on the list - I've been busy checking fences (which are happily all still there, if needing the odd minor repair), the goldeneye nest boxes are nearly all ready for the upcoming season and the volunteer accommodation has passed it's annual inspection. There was time to get out with a few volunteers and continue with our exotic removal programme - we've reached an area of bog I usually walk to from the other side - so it feels like we're really getting towards the end of the area. And today it's sunny and springlike (so typically I'm back in the office - though only temporarily!)
Rothes is still on Ilha de Unhocomozinho. So not much to report from her. I would like to thank Sue C for her helpful comment pointing out the deliberate mistake in last week's data entry - being told exactly which point is wrong saves a lot of time when you go back to correct it. It's amazing the effect that leaving out a decimal point can have! Hopefully I've not made any mistakes with the data entry this week.
The webcam is back online - though out of focus - we're still trying to resolve this. It's not actually that the camera is out of focus, but I think the blurryness is caused by a lead being plugged into the wrong place and so is causing interference (hopefully I sound like I know what I'm talking about!).
That's all for now, more next week.
It's been another busy week. Exotic removal has been continuing apace with myself and a hardy group of volunteers venturing out reguarly in spite of blizzard conditions to takle a particuarly boggy section of ground. It's amazing where spruce trees turn up - though it often seems to be on the far side of particuarly wide and deep ditches!
Last week we had some pretty impressive gales - gusts of up to 150mph were apparently recorded at the top of Cairngorm. This may be the cause for the feeder webcam problems that we are currently experiencing. I'm sure many of you will have noticed that the camera on the website is not working - thanks to everyone who let us know. I spent a bit of time up and down ladders and following the maze of cables that seem to snake through the Osprey Centre from one 'box' to another. We've worked out that the problem is the camera side of one 'box', but I'm afraid that's as far as we've got. We're working to resolve it, but Richard is away, and has taken his expertise with him, so it might not immediately be resolved - so sorry about that.
Speaking of Richard - he sent me a text over the weekend saying 'Osprey over Panama Canal' - so you can guess where he is - and more importantly he's obviously getting excited about the upcoming osprey season, getting his eye in, so he can spot EJ as soon as she returns.
I'm glad to hear that Rothes' recent meanderings on Ilha de Unhocomozinho are now all showing on the map. Jayne updated the map today, and she's still there - possibly waiting until the map was working before making her move north (or possibly until we stop getting so much snow...).