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
The latest news on our young ospreys' adventures are as follows.
The most recent co-ordinates that we have for Caledonia shows her to have been mid-English Channel yesterday at 3pm, so hopefully she made landfall in France later yesterday afternoon but quite where, we'll not know more until Monday now, which is frustrating. This will have been her first sea crossing, so here's hoping. Caley went from Harrogate in Yorkshire, to near Lowestoft on the Suffolk coast on 22nd. On 23rd she left the coast around Aldeburgh and flew over Thames estuary to Folkstone, past Hastings to near Eastbourne, leaving the south coast of England at 1pm and at 3pm was halfway across La Manche.
Meantime Alba is near Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. She appears to have over-nighted near Warrington on 22nd, then travelled east of Wrexham, south of Shrewsbury then was near Merthyr Tydfil at 9pm on 24th.
Good progress then by both birds, so far. Phew! As mentioned previously, ex-Garten volunteer Carole, phoned on Wednesday from Sussex to say she had seen an osprey with an aerial near Shoreham at c.2pm on 22nd August, but it would appear that Caley was just south of Norwich at that time so she didn't see our bird but another tagged osprey. However had Carole been on the look-out yesterday, Caley was indeed in Sussex, near Eastbourne.
No sign of Odin at all yesterday, and no sign today either so we reckon he's en route south too. We did have two ospreys on site yesterday though, one blue ringed male was fleetingly on the nest, but too fleetingly to read the letters or number on the blue ring, to establish exactly who he was. He flew off almost instantaneously as another unidentified osprey flew over the nest area.
It has been quiet at the Centre today, though plenty of red squirrel and woodpecker action and the wee cresties have been in & out too. The squirrel's tails are changing from their summer bleach-blond look to a more sombre grey colour. Our local assassin, the sparrowhawk, has been on the prowl too, attempting to snatch an unwary meal from our feeders - and I don't mean peanuts! Nature red in tooth and claw an' all that. They have to eat too after all, remember.
We are hoping a few more folk might drop by to see us over the weekend, on the back of a busy weekend here in the Strath, as we are expecting a hog invasion tomorrow. The Harley (Davidson) Owners Group (HOG) are in the area for their annual Thunder in the Glens event, when hundreds of these mean-machine roar into town, gathering in Aviemore with a mass ride-out of potentially 1000+ bikes at 12 noon from Aviemore to The Square in Grantown on Spey. It makes for a great spectacle, and the sound of all those engines is thrilling. Some great characters too, lots of ZZ Top lookalikes, if you know what I mean. If you're in reach of Strathspey, why not come and see, hear and meet them. They meet in nearby Boat of Garten too, HOG in the BoG as it's known.
More osprey news on Monday.
thanks richard for letting me know when odin was last seen
Richard ~ I posted this comment on the last blog, not realizing a new one had commenced ~ dah ~ so thought I'd copy it anyhow ~ and add that it is great to read of the progress of the youngsters ~ Caley has wasted no time.....look forward to the next update ~ tomorrow!
Lovely blog, Richard ~ it seems people, birds, creatures and even the blaeberries are desserting you!!! Hope you've managed to squirrel away a few goodies from the summer (frozen fruit cake for those long evenings by a roaring log fire!!!!?). Thanks for all your updates ~ this season seems to have sped by.......and thanks to ALL Team LG for their interesting observations over this period.
Valerie ~ I read your comment ~ it would be great if we could make it to LG again, and if so, co-ordinate it with your 'stint' at LG. Not sure when Crafter is planning her visit. Yes, I too love Richard's 'subtle' sense of humour ~ that must be what keeps him sane!!!!
Sad to say 'goodbye' to our ospreys, but I do hope people stay around here over the winter, to catch up on Richard's exploits............
Sue C, LMac ~ are you both ok ~ haven't seen you around? Bye ~ Leen
Alicat - last confirmed sighting of Odin was on Wednesday afternoon 22nd August, c.3pm-ish.
Thanks Richard for the Blog. Great news about the girls. I would like to thank you for all the updates through the season. I find it amazing how well you have kept your cool this year. Well done to all of the people who have looked after Loch Garten Birds this year. Looking forward to following it all again next year.
Can you tell me what time and day odin was seen please
Thanks very much, Richard. Such progress! I like to know when they're safely over the channel and on land again. Fingers crossed.
Thunder in the Glens sounds brilliant. Wish I was there.
Thanks so much Tiger!
Hi Richard. Glad to hear about the steady progress of Cally and Alba. I couldn't join OH this year at Thunder in the Glens so I won't have a chance to visit you but definitely have plans to do so next year. Even though EJ, Odin and family have gone, there is always the chance of seeing passing ospreys in the area as happened when I visited this same weekend two years ago. Hope you get a chance to go into Aviemore tonight and soak up the atmosphere. Its great fun with all the ageing bikers and as you say ZZ Top lookalikes. Look forward to another update from you on the migrations by Monday.
Thank you Richard. Good to hear where the ospreys are and still safe. Looking forward to the next Bulletin.
birdnuts. There you are www.rspb.org.uk/.../googleearth.aspx
Hi everyone! Can someone please remind me how to set the satellite tracking on Google Earth. I know that this info has been posted recently but I can't now find it. I had to replace my laptop and reinstall GE, so lost the link. Thanks!
Thanks Richard good news so far and Caledonia hopefully will be over the Channel one the next update. Alba has decided to take a more leisurely journey apparently but she too will be across the Channel soon. Thanks to all at LG for all your blogs during the season and may they continue to be positive ones.
So good news to start of the migration Bon Voyage to all our feathered friends heading south .. I wish I was lol - hope they winter well and make a safe return one day - thanks Richard for this and all other Blogs in 2012
Thanks for the update Richard. It's good to know Cally and Alba are making progress and hope they find a safe place to settle.
Thanks for the update Richard. Caledonia is making really good progress being half way to France on the latest fix and Alba is also doing well. The big question is though, who was the osprey that Carole saw which was carrying a transmitter if it was not Caledonia?