I am absolutely thrilled to announce that our oldest chick has finally fledged. All the staff were perched on the edge of their seat on Sunday waiting for the chick to make its leap off the 60-foot drop to take its first flight into the sky after it spent the whole day flapping at the very edge of the nest building up its courage. It was not until 7.55pm that the chick finally took that leap into the air with very little hesitation and flew about for around 10 minutes before finally coming to rest on the tallest pine tree across from the hides. The chick did not return to the nest until 4.47am the following morning even though the male brought in a fish for the mother and youngster at 9.37pm. The chick landed perfectly on the nest and has since been enjoying soaring over the loch on numerous occasions taking in the sights of its beautiful home. The youngest chick should also be taking off in the nest few days as well to join its sibling in flight, building up their muscles before their long, arduous flight to equatorial West Africa where they will remain for about five years before they mature and return back to Scotland to start breeding.
Our birdfeeders have been replaced outside our viewing windows and all the birds are having a feast on the nuts and seeds left out for them. The pine martens have unfortunately still not returned but we are not giving up hope and continue to leave out food for them to entice them to the feeders.