A quiet day on the nest today but perhaps that’s not surprising given it’s been raining more or less non stop all day. Our male, affectionately known as Laddie or Newman, has been bringing in bedding material but as yet no fish, he did bring in a Trout at 8:23pm last night so there’s time yet for a fish supper. Our Nightwatch team noticed that he was blinking a lot so we zoomed in for a closer look. It appears that he has a lazy third eyelid i.e. it hasn’t fully retracted and he’s trying to clear it, it will correct itself in time. Apart from the blinking it doesn’t appear to be affecting him or his ability to hunt or nest build. The third eyelid is one of the amazing adaptations the Ospreys have. Many birds and mammals have them, your dog or cat for example, but what makes the Osprey’s special is that it’s semi-transparent as it’s used to protect the eye during the dive for fish – built in water-goggles or “contact lens” for when they are underwater.
He has been up to his old tricks with putting sticks on her back, bashing her in the face with his tail and generally rearranging the nest with her in it. She seems to have put up with this for once as she’s normally quick to tell him off. She’s been on the nest for most of today and is very wet but didn’t seem to want to changeover when the male came in a while ago, he appeared to want to incubate but she wasn’t budging.
Those of us in the hides have been lucky today as he’s been perching within sight of the hides and doing a fair amount of flying about so we’ve had some great views of him. A couple of other Ospreys have been seen in the area but are no apparent threat to the nest, in fact one of them seemed to fishing alongside our male.
The loch surface has been alive with Swallows and Sand Martins skimming over eating insects and dropping down for a drink, it’s quite mesmerizing watching them. The rest of the loch has been quiet as the birds seem to be staying out of the rain.
Finally a wee reminder about the ‘Meet the Author’ event this weekend. Helen Armitage will be here on Sunday 20th May to sign copies of her book ‘Lady of theLoch’, the story of our fabulous female Osprey. The event is free with the Visitor Centre admission fee or Wildlife Trusts membership.