What a lot can happen in two days! I’ve just come back to work today after a couple of days off to find that both Tore and Bynack have spent a lot of time in recent days, vigorously flapping their wings aimed at strengthening the flight muscles in wings and chests in readiness for their big, big day. Someone even managed to catch some great footage of Tore getting a good bit of air between her and the nest. Will it be this weekend?!
Certainly on Thursday which was quite a blustery day here, they took advantage of the high wind and up-draughts at the nest to get used to being buffeted by gusts and get used to the sensation of lift, gaining skill at poise, balance and control of their movements. Many were the heart-in-mouth moments when Tore especially, was perilously poised on the nest rim, wings thrashing vigourously, that we thought, this is it, lift off, she's going to go. But no, not this time. Wings were re-folded, hopes were dashed and calm resumed, with Tore flopping back down inton the nest to recover from her exertions, phew!
Fledging though, could be any day now. Today (Saturday) it is 51 days since Tore's hatching and last year Rothes fledged on day 51. So watch this space (screen!). Despite much practice-flapping, what we haven't seen much of yet though, is either of them lifting off and rising up, up and up and over the nest, flapping and holding station for many seconds, progressively rising higher and higher, sometimes 10-20 ft or more, only to then drop back down again. Be warned, when this happens, for you they will disappear from view off-camera, for several seconds or more, so don't assume a fledge or be alarmed.
Though yet to fledged, Tore has reached another milestone. When a fish came on Thursday evening, Tore grabbed it from EJ and for the first time, attempted to feed herself, picking and pulling at the fish. This is a good sign of pending independence, though a little precocious perhaps as today she reverted to being fed by EJ.
Intruders have also been a feature of the last couple of days when at one point, for our lucky visitors at the time, no less than six ospreys were in view - our family of four plus two chancers, a failed pair perhaps with mischief on thier minds calling in to pester the neighbours, from wherever they came. These interlopers cause angst for EJ and Odin but such incidents are a healthy sign. These birds are on the look out for an unoccupied nest or an unpaired bird - all too late for this year of course, but it's an opportunity to put down a marker for next year perhaps. By visiting other nests, it's Nature's way of ensuring nests are rarely unused and birds rarely unpaired.
Talking of intruders... it has been great to be visited by so many of our bloggers and put faces to names for both them and us. On Friday, blogger and volunteer Val took Leen, Crafter and their families to the Forward Hide for a behind-the-scenes taste of what volunteering entails in the hope that they might be tempted to get further involved and coming to help us in future seasons! Lovely to meet you (although I missed Crafter, maybe next time?!) Oh, and thanks for the cake too! (Pics to follow - for some reason the blog won't allow me to input it at the moment..)
With all that excitement to come back to, I reckon I need another couple of days off! Or maybe just a cuppa and a piece of that cake..
Thanks Caroline . Lovely to hear from you again. We have had a great season so far. Now hoping for safe fledging for both birds. Hoping to get up again one day soon To see them in the air.
Thanks for that, Caroline.
Thanks Caroline for a lovely informative blog. Will be at LG on Monday so I am keeping everything crossed in the hope that we have lift off....
Thanks Caroline. Plenty of wingercising, but no helicoptering yet. It is worrying when they disappear from view and it seems an eternity before they land back on the nest. Tore and Bynack also shared a fish at 8.48am this morning, EJ just stood and watched until the tail end. It is lovely to see very little aggression between these two, compared with previous years. What a difference having just two chicks, with plenty of fish being delivered. Thanks also for info. on the intruders.
What a lovely, informative blog, Caroline. Thank you.
Thank you for that excellent update Caroline. I have been enjoying the wingercising and helicoptering from Tore. Delighted to read that your cake stores have been replenished and that the bloggers are keeping you busy. What a great season so far. Hope to visit early next month. Best wishes. Emma
Great blog Caroline and good to hear about the 2 intruders which we couldn't see from here. Although we definitely knew there was trouble afoot! Fantastic watching the attempts of the youngsters. Won't be long now!
CAROLINE great blog as usual . i think we will take to the sky before dark tomorrow .. i am sorry you missed CRAFTER and LEEN , they are wonderful people and great friends of mine
Thanks very much for your latest blog Caroline. Fledging can only be a day or two away for Tore. Interesting about the 2 intruders as there seem to be lots more 2 year olds around the country this year than last. It can only bode well for the future.
Thanks for the update Caroline,wonder if it will be this weekend that one or both of the chicks fledge.
Thanks Caroline........ I am sure the weather isn't that good for fledging, but then they have a way of surprising us, so you never know!!
Hi Caroline-it's benn warm and sunny in the south today so hopefully the weather will improve for take off for T and B soon. After the dissapointment of no tagging etc, last year and tagging and satalite tracking by Roy at Bassenwaithe I have just read that despite trying to tag and satalite tag their chicks today the marshy ground where they have moved their nest to this year has prevented this from being done and getting a vehicle near to reach the nest. Such a shame for them but we all know how it feels. It proves we can never take anything for granted with our birds.
Great blog Caroline.......and so glad my special friends Leen and Crafter were able to meet up with Richard.......I was emailed a copy of the photo they had taken with him, looks like they all had fun, can't wait for them to get home, might be getting a few long emials from them both. Bet they enjoyed their behind the scenes lookaround. Hope you enjoyed your cake, Leen told me all about after she had baked it for you!
Much appreciation for all the news, Caroline, and yes for confirmation, too. For me it isn't official until confirmd by staff. Can't help but wonder if one of the "intruders" is my own beloved Garten. Can't bear to think of Garten as an intruder, but that is nature, so be it.
We know one of them is not Rothes, as she is tracked in France at her stopover fish farm.
No wonder the babes are still in the nest, the rain sounded awful today. Thank you for the updating blog. Hope you keep us all in touch once the birds have flown