Wildlife Diary Thursday 19th April


Hi its Lindsey again as Emma’s off planting more trees. It’s been a pretty quiet day on the nest and the constant rain hasn’t helped. At one point our female came off the eggs, looking bedraggled and appeared to be trying to dry her wings by spreading them out cormorant style. She looked soaked but after a good shake and preen and a bit of drying out she looked much better and settled back down to incubating.

Our male is continuing to bring good sized fish in, but not until he’s flown overhead to show them off. He still seems to be having a little trouble handing them over, it’s not clear whether he’s got the fish stuck on his talons or he simply doesn’t want to give it up but our female soon sorts him out by whisking the fish away. He continues to be a right fidget when he’s on the eggs but it does mean we get lots of good views of the eggs as he stands up.

We’ve had a couple of Osprey questions about the possible return of last year’s male, Green 7Y.

Has something happened to Green 7Y?

We simply don’t know. He is very overdue and most likely he hasn’t made it through the migration as the urge to return to a successful nest is very strong. Once an Osprey has got a good nest they will come back and defend it. Migration is fraught with hazards, as well as the long distance there’s bad weather, power lines and hunters to contend with. It is still possible he could return as Ospreys are still migrating so we’ll have to wait and see if he’s sighted at any other nest near here, as if he does return it would most likely be to this area.

What will happen if he does come back?

Well he’ll fight with our new male for our female and the nest. This could cause problems as egg infanticide, where a new male kicks another male’s eggs out the nest, is not unknown in Ospreys. Both the Aberfoyle and Loch Garten Ospreys have had this situation. We have mixed feelings as we’d be delighted to see him back safe and well but it would upset our newly settled pair and potentially put the eggs in danger and, after the ‘phantom’ egg last week we’d rather not have any more scares!

Here’s a lovely photo of the whole Osprey family taken from our camera here at the Visitor Centre.

The male is on the left and the female is on the right.

In news from around the rest of the reserve we’ve yet more mallard chicks, these ones are very young, only a day or two old so very small and fluffy. The male mallards are continuing to fight each other with two of them looking rather ruffled at the front and this morning we found a whole pile of feathers at the feeding station suggesting one of them came off badly.

We were delighted to see a Treecreeper at the feeding station today, apparently enjoying the special peanut butter we put out for the birds.

The SquirrelCam has been repaired so you should be able to watch their antics. We’ve now got three regular reds visiting the feeding stations and the new one is not impressed with the other two as I heard it hiss at them this morning when they got too close.

In blog news to make things more consistent I’ll be blogging mostly on Mondays and Thursdays, the Nightwatch on Fridays or Saturdays and Emma doing the rest of the days.

Finally if you’ve ever wondered what the Nightwatch do to help stay warm, well they’ve been making up tongue twisters here’s one for you to try out:

Sixteen Siskins sifting through seed.

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  Hi its Lindsey again as Emma’s off planting more trees. It’s been a pretty quiet day on the nest and the constant rain hasn’t helped. At one point our …

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