Our apologies for there being no Wildlife Diary yesterday- it was the first time I’ve had a chance to have a day off since our Osprey Nest Protection Watch stared- a grueling six weeks of 24hr a day shifts in the hides, ensuring our birds are allowed to breed in peace from human disturbance.
I would like to thank all the volunteers and staff involved in this vital task: just this weekend we have an incident which could have proved a serious threat to our birds, which was swiftly, politely and effectively dealt with by our wonderful team and no harm was done. Thanks to the vigilance of the volunteers on duty and the speedy reactions of all involved- this just highlights one of the many ways in which this watch is still needed.
Why do we still do a 24hr nest protection watch?
Egg thieves are still a real risk, and Ospreys a very real target: One UK man was convicted late in 2011 of stealing 700 eggs , including eight Osprey eggs, and has been given an ASBO banning him from Scotland in the breeding season since his jail sentence.
Our very high profile atLochof the Lowes makes this a very desirable target for eggs thieves. We have had several incidents here in the past and must keep up our guard.
Technology such as cameras etc is making things easier for us- and them- but there is no substitute for human observation and skill in protecting birds and nests.
Newer risks: photographers and amateur wildlife filmmakers can be unaware or unscrupulous, and can cause untold damage to nesting birds by getting too close and causing the birds to abandon eggs and young chicks. There is a need to educate people about safe and legal distances from which to observe and enjoy wildlife.
We hope that the deterrent of our determined and professional nest protection team and our high tech equipment means that our Ospreys can continue to nest in peace for us all to enjoy!