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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Things might have quietened down due to the rain in the last couple of days. The chicks have not been flapping as much as might be expected but as it’s brighter today we have seen a lot more flapping and stretching as they discover they have these long feathery things attached to them! We have begun to notice EJ flying to and from the camera tree and nest and circling around...telling them it’s time to get a move on perhaps! EJ’s first chick has fledged on the 11th of July in both 2011 and 2010, so it could be soon...
Similarly, it has been a bit quiet on the fish front recently and this could again be due to the rubbish weather. It’s also likely that the chicks don’t need to eat as much as they did when they were trying to grow really fast, and their appetite has waned a bit.
At our feeders we have seen lots of fledglings around in the past couple of weeks. Particularly nice to see are the juvenile woodpeckers who are brought to the feeders by their parents and are easy to tell apart from the adults due to the bright red crown. As well as woodpeckers we have seen many red squirrels at the feeders, probably taking advantage of the easy food when the weathers bad. The squirrels are still going through their moult and can be seen the colour varying from red, silver, black or a combination of all of them!
The school holidays have finally started as well, meaning we are getting a lot of families visiting during the week now. If any of you are planning a visit with kids then you might like to come along to our family events on Tuesday...the morning events are inside, so they are rain proof!
Thanks very much for the update, Abbey. It's good to hear of what goes on beyond the limited view of the camera:-)
The chicks are looking very wet this morning but are tucking in to a good feed.
Thank you Abby for the update, and thanks John for the explanation re the wide-angle camera!
Loire, the wide-angle camera is currently showing the bottom of the stanchion on which it is mounted. As you probably know, we've been having a few problems with this camera over the season and it seems to have developed a mind of its own. It is currently pointing straight down and we are unable to move it. Hopefully we'll be able to get it back up so we can show you the chicks hovering over the nest over the next few days....
Thanks Abby for the update. Cally and Alba grown so quickly and now we watch with bated breath for the actual fledge. They have both been exercising those wings a lot this week. Shame about the weather and as you say Cally and Alba must think this is the norm.
What is the odd looking white and black structure in the right hand lower picture?
Nice to hear from you, Abby - it's obvious that it's still going nicely at the Centre. I wish we could swap your red squirrels for our grey ones!
Good to hear from you. You certainly have had your share of ups and down in your first season. Hope you are still enjoying you time at the centre as much as you were at the start of the season. Hoping to manage a visit before the Girls fly off.
Thanks for a great update, Abby. I can't wait to see Caledonia and Alba fledge, and reckon it'll be early next week when Caledonia will enjoy her first flight, with Alba fledging a day later.
Just put the "girls" on to have a look before I go to bed.
What is Cally doing to Alba......she is trying to get the tag from her back.!!
The difference in size is amazing. Crafter x
Thanks for the update, Abby. Hope you get lots of visitors especially families showing an interest, that's how the news spreads about this wonderful osprey family.
I know its hard work for you and the team and thankyou once again to Richard and the team for all the effort they put into welcoming visitors and manning the nest. Nearly time for another season to come to an end and despite the weather it has gone quite quickly.
Thanks for the update Abby and glad you're having some better weather at last. Todays wind is just what the chicks need to give them a lift. Soon they will be "helicoptering" then there will be no stopping them.
Have a parent and child greater spotted woodpecker coming to my feeder for the first time this year. One of them, probably the parent because of the skill used, actually abseiled down the chain holder to a fat tube. Looked so funny.
Thanks Abby. Cally & Alba must think there is only one type of weather, that is rain. It was brilliant to see their reaction to the loud thunderclap. Waiting to see them do some helicoptering and have successful fledging.
Thank you Abby. Good to know that EJ has been encouraging the girls, and showing them how it is done. EJ is so often off camera, but quick to come to the nest as with the big clap of thunder earlier today which make Caledonia and Alba hit the deck! I do so hope the team is able to sort out wide cam before they do fledge. Have fun with the children visitors. You will be opening a whole new world to them!