As you will have seen, female osprey EJ returned to the nest last night at about 9pm. Where she's been, and why she's been absent, who knows. Waiting for better weather perhaps? Could she sense the warmer air moving up from the south and until it arrived decided to leave Odin in charge whilst she went off exploring? Perhaps to ram herself full of fish to replenish her bodily resources post-migration and help bring her into egg-laying condition, and not just rely on hand-outs from Odin?
Whatever, she's back. But for how long this time......? She's certainly keeping us guessing.
Yes, warmer weather has arrived, at last. It was the proverbial Phew! What A Scorcher here yesterday, though cooler and dreich today. The rise in temperature has finally awoken the toads from their winter slumber, about 3-4 weeks late I'd say. Our Please Try To Avoid The Frogs and Toad on The Road signs, went up in mid-March as usual, but only this morning did I see the first ones to have stirred.
No other migrants here yet, other than osprey. Surely a common sandpiper or sand martin in the coming days. Several skeins of Pink-feet passed high overhead yesterday, Iceland-bound. There are though still some vestiges of winter around, I had three bramblings on my lawn yesterday. And, I added a new species to my "garden" list. I say garden, but that includes garden airspace. I didn't actually see it, but way up high in the stratosphere I heard golden plover going over heading for their breeding grounds on the heather moorlands of Strathspey. This takes me to 98 species.
Here's hoping EJ & Odin now settle in for the season and do the business.
Caledonia has taken a short two night break between 9th and 11th April, NE of the Huelva site to Embalse (Reservoir) Del Retortillo. The reservoir is on the borders of the Cordoba and Sevilla regions of Spain and on the SW edge of a hilly region in the Parque National Sierra De Hornachelos. She spent the nights of 9th and 10th April on the edge of the reservoir before returning to the roost site on the Rivera Huelva on 11 April. Overall she travelled some 170 km and completed a 84 km return leg between 10.00 and 18.00 hrs on 11 April.
I'm afraid the news on EJ is that there is no news, well, not much anyway. She was on site until c.7.30pm last night and we haven't seen her since. Did she go off to roost, off-site now that Odin's back to stand guard too? Maybe, but if so, why no return at first light this morning? At one point today there was an unidentified osprey in the Garten eyrie airspace, but given that Odin was sky-dancing in display to it, we have to assume it was a female, but whether it was EJ we could not tell. It didn't come in aboot the nest anyway. That's all we have for you, for now.
Have a good weekend everybody.
Told ya............ As you will no doubt have seen on the webcam EJ has returned. I can feel the sharp intakes of breath and huge sighs of relief from here.
We cannot know where she has been or what she has been up to, but it's my view that unless something nasty had befallen her - death or injury - the she was always going to come back.
He would say that wouldn't he - I hear you say, but I was honestly confident that she would reappear. My new Team LG 2013 have, like you, understandably been a bit edgy these past few days, but my words of comfort to them have been that they only need to worry, if I start to worry, and I'm not (haven't been) worried. Phew!
Time for some of you, I'm sure, to put an equal strain on all parts in a darkened room. You can relax now. And rest.
EJ has not been seen at the Loch Garten nest since c.06.35am yesterday (9th). Whether she is just away fishing, or playing away with XD (the stop-out!), we cannot know.
Only two days ago she was stood alongside newly-returned Odin, looking altogether like the proverbial happy couple, and she seemed to kick XD into touch, under Odin's disapproving eye. Or was that just for the cameras, and out of embarrassment having been caught in flagrante delicto by Odin? Yet really she still has eyes for XD? Time will tell. Even before Odin's return and during her dalliance with XD and her bouts of absence (at his nest?) EJ was at least returning to the LG site to roost, but not last night. Is she having a change of heart and Odin no-longer cuts it for her?
We have of course seen this from her before, a day or two of absence, but then she eventually returns. We know her to be a particularly independent female osprey, so once Odin returned, did she feel her nest could be left under his watchful, protective gaze, enabling her to go and fish for herself, as we know she is given to do?
Questions, questions. The nest few days will prove very interesting indeed. Meantime Odin has taken up guard at the LG nest. As I walked up to Osprey Centre in the dark this morning at 5am on my way to Caper-watch. I could hear him aloft displaying directly over the Centre, in a valiant attempt to be heard by EJ and lure her back. To no avail, at least by the time I left the Centre at 08.30am.
You'll be fretting I know, but I'm sure EJ will reappear before too much longer.
Those watching this morning might have noticed not an EJ on the nest, but just a J - a jay poking about in the nest cup moss. One male capercaillie put in an appearance this morning too, for the 25+ early risers. It was tricky to see at first but it eventually flew up into a tree and all the patient attendees saw it. Phew!
We will of course keep you posted on the EJ situation.
The latest check of data by Mike (thanks Mike) is as follows:
The recorded points show that she has been stationary most of the time and around the Rivera De Huelva site with short trips to the Rio Guadalquivir. On 6th April at 10.00 hrs she was 7 km NW from the Huelva site and travelling N whilst on 8th April at 16.00 hrs she was again some 7 km NNW of the Huelva site and travelling W.