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
Summer?We are currently basking in the tropical heat up here at Loch Garten. Our thermometer tells us it’s 29 degrees in the shade right now! So I have retreated into the office to cool down (never thought I’d say that!) and to write my first blog.We’ve had an excited couple of days up here. After keeping us guessing for 4 days EJ and Odin’s third and final chick hatched out at 6.59 last (Tuesday) night. All of us were sitting at the loch have a picnic and a wee celebration for EJ and for Gloria (more about that later) when we got an excited phone call from the volunteers on duty and managed to rush back down to the centre to see our last chick hatch into the world.With three very hungry chicks to feed Odin’s been kept extremely busy bringing in fish whilst EJ periodically feeds them. It’s pretty hot out on the nest at the moment and we can see how EJ stands over the chicks to make sure they are in some shade.We can’t ignore our other proud mum, Gloria the goldeneye, who successfully hatched a brood of ducklings on Monday. Counting her eggs proved pretty difficult as she kept them well covered with down, however it was almost impossible to get an accurate count of lots of jumping, fluffy bodies! It took Laura and myself a good 10 minutes and lots of debate to decide that we have 8 spotty ducklings who were about to launch themselves out their 12 foot high nest box and into the world. Once they were out it was a race down to the loch side to make sure all 8 plus mum got across the road safely and onto the loch. I’m happy to say that they were all seen swimming off across the loch.
As I might have already mentioned, it’s pretty hot up here at the moment! All of a sudden there are a lot of insects crawling and flying around – great news for hungry birds. We get some rare insects on the reserve here including large red damselflies which are now flying around our ponds. The weather has also brought about an increase in activity from swallows and martins (after all those insects) and today we were lucky to get excellent views of a cuckoo calling from out camera tree – really feels like summer has arrived!
What a remarkable change in the weather. Long may the summer continue. Only a week ago EJ was protecting her little charges from driving rain and hail; now she is acting as a sunshade! I bet the midges are multiplying now - great for birds, but not so brilliant for human observers.
Thank you for the update Abby, including on Gloria's chicks. What a privilege to watch them taking their first steps into the wide world.
P.S. I was hoping to visit Loch Garten again this season, but not sure I'll be able to make it now. I wish you all the very best of luck up there for the rest of the season, and hope to see three healthy chicks fledge, on the webcam at least, if not in reality.
Thanks Abbey so pleased summer has at last arrived. Lovely blog from you and all is well with EJ, Odin and their offspring. Odin being his usual magnificent self with the fish deliveries.
Thanks for a really lovely first blog. So nice to hear from those "at the coal face" and have a chance to hear what you you are experiencing. Bet you never thought you would have weather like this after the last few weeks!
B and B ..... Hope you feel better after getting that off your chest but I don't think many of us will agree with you.
Thank you Abby for lovely blog , looking forward to meeting you - only 5 weeks now .
Bright and Breezy for once I am speechless !!!!!!!!!!!!!
chicks having a feed
abbi thank you and a wonderful blog and the 3rd chick has hatched and hoping it will be fed and I did see it had been tonight.
Gloria i loved the pics and so charming. Thank you Abbi :)
RSPB LG Is Tore ok and I am going to be blunt as no updates and people have put money into it and I have not and never will but surely an update would be welcome. We used to get a one-liner if lucky. Nothing and a disgrace as people have put money in and deserve better.
I apologise but it has to be said.
I am on the fence but I am being honest, I want to know about Tore and yes have been following but not one LG tagged chick has made it back and someone will put me right, yes Rothiemurcus has but is he the only one of youngsters tagged. I apologise to all but RW without tags make it back. AW come to grief from RW and he was an adult.
I am going to start a protest and understand views but the communication from LG is a disgrace.
Well done Abby! Lovely to read your blog. Sounds wonderful up there right now. How I wish I was there.
Lovely to hear from you, Abby - I do hope you're really enjoying the LG experience and I think you are all doing a great job. Keep up the good work.
Would never complain about the quality of the footage of EJ and ODIN - just feel so privileged to be able to follow them at all.
Thannks Abby. Enjoy your summer, while it lasts. Feel sorry for EJ in that heat trying to keep her chicks cool.
Thank you Abby for your first blog...wonderful as ususal to hear all the news I would love to see the Damselflies I hope they will still be there when I come up in July :) Great that Gloria and her babies got to the loch safely.....out into the "big wide world" Nice to hear you are having good weather just what you need when the chicks are so small...better than the rain and snow!!
Thanks for a great blog, Abby. Glad the sun is shining at LG and the Ospreys are doing well. I wonder if Odin The Magnificat will beat his fish deliveries in one day record this season :-)
Thanks Abby for the blog. Glad all is going well and it is summer at Abernethy. Here is a short clip where Odin almost fed one of the chicks:
Thank you Abby, an excellent blog. As I write, Odin has just brought in fish number 4 today. with 3 young mouths and EJ to feed, he will a busy boy.
A wonderful first Blog Abby, thank you for taking the time.
And for you all rushing down to the road to make sure the ducklings and mum crossed safely.
It's wonderful news about our third little humbug and he seems to be doing so well despite looking tiny next to his siblings.
We saw the Cuckoo on the tree and fans posted his photo on the Daily Update thread, marvellous!
Golly a fourth fish from Odin just now - well done sir