We had quite a big storm brewing yesterday with thunder and lightning which cut off our web cameras on quite a few occasions. The chicks kept ducking every time they saw a flash of lightning or heard thunder and the mother did her best to try and keep the chicks covered to stop them getting soaked. One side of the visitor centre was flooded with the heavy downpour but the weather did brighten up later on and the ospreys finally got relief from the bad weather.
There has been plenty of fish brought in for the ospreys and the oldest chick has now started to feed itself. On Saturday the male presented the mother and chicks with a fish which the chicks then proceeded to fight over. The youngest chick was the first to grab the fish when the older one came over and grabbed the fish from the other end. A tug of war ensued with one chick using its beak to pull the fish and the other grabbing it with its talons. The battle ragged on for a few minutes and one chick was close to going over the edge of the nest when finally the oldest chick won the battle and took its prize for itself to eat. The mother attempted to gain access to the fish but the chick went for her and continued to eat the fish itself.
The chicks are due to fledge any day now. They have been practising hard and strengthening their wing muscles and it is just a matter of days before the oldest chick takes its first leap off the nest and into the sky. We are all waiting in anticipation to see how successful the first flight and landing attempt is and if it is a smoother one than last year’s chick.
A pair of otters was spotted swimming in front of the hide yesterday and an otter was also spotted the day before so they are becoming more of a regular sight here on the loch. Our bird feeders will be returned in a week’s time and we have not seen any more infected finches around the area so hopefully the parasite will have disappeared at last.
The pine marten evenings are still cancelled due to the absence of pine martens at the feeders but we will keep looking out for them and as soon as one is seen the pine marten evenings will recommence.