...........but first, osprey news:
Yesterday there appeared to be what might have been a length of fishing line hanging from Alba's beak. It could equally have been a bit of grass or weed or some such, but in any case it seems to have gone now, but we'll keep an eye out for it.
This week has seen some longer distances travelled by Alba and Caledonia. Alba has travelled up to 1 km and Caledonia up to 2 km from the nest. Caledonia’s journeys still appear to be east of the nest i.e. away from the Osprey Centre but Alba has visited Loch Garten 4 times at least between 31 July and 2 August at 21.00 hours! Her loch side perch is about 600m south of the entrance to the visitor centre. The birds seem to be gaining their independence and are spending less time together as they did last week.
In the days and weeks to come, we can expect to see our ospreys, spending increasing time high-circling over the nest and surrounding area, almost as if they are taking a set of aerial photographs for future reference. One of the youngsters was high up over my house on Saturday afternoon, I just happend to hear it call and look up to see it. Alas, it is a sure sign that they're preparing for the off, as the season wanes.
Talking of the waning season, elsewhere, away from the Centre, the forest has become ominously quiet. The contuinued "changeable" weather, as the forecasters like to call it(polite for dreich, basically) has of course put a bit of a dampner on things, but even so there is hardly any bird song to be heard now, just the odd willow warbler giving some late season reprise. Many migrants are already going if not gone. I haven't seen a redstart or spotted flycatcher for what seems like weeks. I read today in the press about swallows gathering on wires, in numbers, preparing for the off. And yet I still have a late unfledged brood at my house, not due to fledge for another week, which is pushing it a bit. I saw swifts prospecting at a nestbox at the weekend too, not for this year now of course - I think some will not have bothered to breed this summer, fed up of waiting for good weather & insects, which barely came - but casing the joint for a return next season perhaps, I hope so.
Despite the poor forecast, on Sunday over 200 people had fun in the forest at the RSPB’s Abernethy Family Fun Day. Families enjoyed attractions such as nest box building (timber kindly supplied by our local BSW Sawmills), a Flying-Fox zip line run by the Cairngorms Mountain Rescue Team, pony trekking, face painting, wood working/making their own whistles and many other activities. It was fantastic to see so many children and families enjoying themselves in the forest and taking part in all of the activities. It makes all the planning worthwhile to see so many folk having a good time on the reserve and getting a real positive experience with the RSPB too. Well done to our colleague Ross who leads on Fun Day organisation & preparation. It was also great to have the Nethybridge Primary PTA running the catering and they raised £200 for the school, which is fantastic. They made some fabulous cakes, and Team LG are, after all, serious cake-officionados.
It was a great day and a fun time was had by all. Just about every child headed home carrying a proudly-made nestbox. Thankfully the rain held off, until the event was over and folk had gone, but no sooner had we packed up, when a veritable monsoon arrived, stotting with rain all evening. But we got away with it. Phew!
The event runs on the first Sunday of August each year, alternating between Insh Marshes and Abernethy RSPB Reserves. Next year, Insh Marshes will run the event and it will return to Abernethy in 2014.
So pleased the rain held off for the event and that it was so successful Richard. Thanks for taking the time to Blog for us.
It was good to hear about the girls and their forays away from the nest. Looks like we'll need to rely on Staff to let us know when EJ goes. It surely can't be long now.
Thank you all so much for all your hard work .
Thanks Richard and good news that the weather relented for the event. Good to hear the girls are exploring the area and a reminder as if we needed one that another osprey season is coming to and end.
Thanks for your interesting blog, Richard. Glad that the rain held off for your family Event - this has been a year of unpredicatable weather indeed.
Thanks for the update Richard and glad you had good weather for the family event. It certainly seems that the season is drawing to a close with more osprey sightings on the south coast of England and the first osprey sighted over one of the Pyrenees watchpoints yesterday.
Thank you Richard for the update. So sad...but it's got to happen. We will miss the girls so much, it has been a really good season for you all in Loch Garten, apart from one rather sad event.
Hope all is well with Alba, and it WAS a bit of grass.
I had about 100 starlings on my lawn this morning, dare not move for my camera, as they were tucking into all my bird food.
I usually have 10 to 20, but this has happened before at this time of year. They must be on their way to wherever they go after the season. Then more come to visit me, but never in numbers like that.
I will be looking for any news now...before we all say goodbye until next year.
Hi Richard, thanks for the updates re Alba and Caledonia. Glad the fun day paid off and it must have been rewarding to see so many children there (and of course adults.)
Season nearly over again - oh dear - but there is next year to look forward to.
Glad the Family Fun Day was a success and the weather behaved itself untill all the visitors had left. It seems that the osprey season has passed very quickly this year. Maybe because we are still waiting for the summer weather to arrive. Thanks Richard.
Thanks for the update,looks like everyone had a great day, just see one of them on the nest,don't know if it's alba but she sure is making a lot of noise, she has has 2 fish sitting there to eat so maybe she's calling for her sister to come and share it with her. Will miss them when they go.
Thanks for the update Richard so glad to hear that the family day was a big sucess and lots of fun!! Bet there weren't any CAKES left LOL!! Great to hear that the girls are doing well with their exploring been a bit out of touch with it all since I got back from holiday. Must check out the nest before they disappear for good. I am sure you are looking forward to your holiday :))
Richard, thank you very much for the blog. It's great to know the girls are exploring the surrounding area. Let's hope they take some good photos of the reserve and come back after their time in Africa. Is it true that male ospreys after their first winters in Africa are more likely to return to the area in which they were born than female ospreys and that females just go anywhere suitable for breeding?
Many thanks for your update Richard. I am glad your family day was such a success. I happened to be near Loch Leven for their similar event in June, and bumped into Caroline Rance!!
What a pleasure it is to watch the girls on the nest this morning. Cally is being fed by EJ at the moment. Odin has brought in a fish, a lichen covered stick and colourful moss. EJ has brought in three fish already. No sign of our family leaving just yet!!
Thank you for the update, Richard. Sad that it is nearly time for our ospreys to leave as well as all our other summer visitors. Glad you had such a good day.
Richard ~ that is a lovely account of the comings and goings of all 'creatures' at Abernethy ~ glad to hear that Team LG are keeping the flag flying with cake consumption!
It is sad, as Crafter commented, to realize that another season is coming to an end ~ it seems to have 'flown' by so quickly this year ~ and I've hardly seen our osprey family of late!
So thanks to all the Team LG for keeping me/us in the picture ~ otherwise would have no idea what is unfolding there ~ the distances that the chicks are exploring, etc.
Some mornings, here, feel quite autumnal ~ yet the days are hot and sunny ~ and summer is forecast..........
Looked in at nest at 11.20 am ~ one chick yelling, couldn't see number, and one bird sitting with fish under foot ~ think it's EJ, can't see blue ring, but she's very quiet ~ chick flew off and is yelling from a tree ~ EJ still sitting, not attempting to eat fish. And she's there still, literally, with the fosh under her foot ~ distant calls from one or both chicks!
Oh ~ that is not some new fangled food for opreys ~ it is a FISH!