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.
Over the last couple of weeks the ospreys (and us!) have endured some very testing weather. We’ve had wind, rain, sleet, hail, snow, with everything else in between. EJ has done a sterling job of protecting the eggs from this weather, whilst Odin has been keeping her fed with a fish or two each day.
But all this is behind us (for now...) and we are currently being rewarded with clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. After such a long period of cold and wet, it’s absolutely glorious to see the nest and loch swathed in sunshine. And with the snow covered mountains providing a fitting backdrop, it’s simply stunning here at the moment. Long may it last! We’re not the only ones enjoying this sunshine: several common lizards and a dor beetle have been seen basking outside the Centre today.
It’s three weeks tomorrow since the first egg was laid. With the average incubation period of around five to six weeks, it hopefully won’t be long until the first hatching. Things are moving quickly and we’re all very excited, particularly as the weather seems to be picking up.
There are plenty more signs that Spring is on its way. There was a male redstart flitting around the camera tree earlier this week. You may remember redstarts were nesting in the lower branches of the osprey nest last year, and they will certainly be a welcome side-attraction if they chose to do so again. We have seen several swallows in the area, willow warblers are singing everywhere and common sandpipers have been displaying on the loch this week. Oh, and I saw a beautiful male wheatear on my way to work this morning, which is the first one I’ve ever seen round here.
Just a quick word on the upcoming inaugural Scottish Birdfair. It’s taking place on the 19th and 20th May at Hopetoun House, just outside Edinburgh. It promises to be a fantastic event with something for everyone. Further details can be found on the website at: www.scottishbirdfair.org.uk
And last but certainly by no means least, the intrepid Black Jaguar (Brian in real life) has today completed his bike ride from Loch Garten to Rutland. It sounds like he’s been up against the weather, which I’m sure will give him a greater sense of achievement and pride. So on behalf of the whole Loch Garten team, I’d like to express our sincere thanks to Brian for raising so much money for us. It was great to meet you on Monday Brian, so huge congratulations on making it down there in one piece.
Just what the birds don't need at the moment is more rain, last nights weather forecast showed snow for that area so we will have to keep fingers crossed.
Yes-Roy will be pleased, I think it is a male chick, correct me if I am wrong. Hopefully he will stay in the LG/Avimore area.
Fantastic news! This is going to be so exciting to see where she ends up. Hope she flys over LG!!
Oh, brilliant news Alan!! :-)
Rothiemurchus arrived back in England this morning.
Lovely large fish delivery at 3.20 pm ~ think it was still wiggling!!!! Now Odin is incubating. It is good to see that EJ is dry ~ she looked so wet earlier today.
Hear the rain is back again as is drizzle in Dorset after a beautiful day yesterday. Hope you don't get any cold weather again and that it warms up for hatch day. Excited to see what springwatch has about LG this year, I love that show.
Tore spent last week in a small range near Bissora with a longer flight on the 4th. Latest fix 6th April.
Have just seen this on RSPB Operation Osprey on facebook A busy day at The Osprey Centre today - intruding osprey and Springwatch! An unringed male took a passing fancy to EJ, but she was having none of it. Odin arrived in the nick of time with a fish and the intruder was seen disappearing into the distance.
A team from the BBC's Springwatch arrived too - keep an eye out for us during the next series!
Crafter, the intruder was OK after the bang. It tried to land again, but didn't manage it.
Moffer ~ thanks for the video clips and photos. I certainly missed all the excitement, didn't I? I must have seen EJ on her return, having eaten her lunch!
Crafter ~ rain here, and more rain! Although the sun has broken through for a few minutes, it looks as though it's going to pour again at any moment. How's the housework ~ at least that'll keep you warm......? Leen
Phew Moffer, what a clip. What happened to the intruder, there was a terrific bang as it fell off the nest , that was a bit too near. Poor EJ.
Leen our weather isnt too bad, no rain but cold.
Crafting stuff away for a while, onto housework.....YUK. Crafter x
Did anybody at Osprey HQ manage to zoom in and spot any rings on the intruder. In one photo it does look fuzzy and difficult to tell if ring or branch/foliage. If anybody gets a sec to look that would be great.
Leen, you missed an Intruder this morning. It made 3 attempts to land while EJ was alone. Odin brought a fish in, and the intruder stayed around for a while. It seems to have gone now.
pics and videos here www.rspb.org.uk/.../77171.aspx
Aha ~ EJ returned to nest at 13.11, and persuaded Odin to move ~ now she's happily back on her eggs, and the sun IS shining.....