We believe that our resident female osprey laid her first egg of the year at around 10.40 last night. She showed all the classic signs of eggs laying: sitting in the nest cup, straining and tail lifting, followed by lots of egg rolling and positioning. You may also have noticed she suddenly changed her stance in the nest: she walked with her talons firmly curled under her ‘knuckles’ to prevent any damage to the eggs- behaviour you only see once the eggs are laid. She then settled down on the egg for the rest of the night. We mustn’t forget that until the recent invention of nest cameras, these behavioural changes were all we had for many years to determine whether or not eggs had been laid, so they are tried and tested indicators, and we are confident she hasn’t fooled us all!
With the nest cup so very deep this year, it ahs been very difficult to catch glimpses of the egg, even with the zoom, but our best chance is when she settles on it and rolls it again- so keep an sharp eye out.
Some people have already been asking if the egg will be ok left uncovered (she has not been on it for a while so far this morning). The answer is yes it will likely be ok- it is not a particularly cold morning here and she is on hand of a predator should threaten.
By the way, early this morning, though he seemed oblivious to the egg and not at all interested in taking a turn incubating it, the new male bird did respond well when a couple of crows got too close to the nest- dashing in to make sure they didn’t get to land and grab an opportunistic meal of an egg- good man!
Your ranger is off to get some sleep- its been a long but exciting night – and hands over now to the day watch team- stay tuned for more news.