As you can see from the photo we had bit of drama on the nest this afternoon when an intruder Osprey tried to land on the nest. This is quite normal at this time of year and is likely to be an unattached juvenile looking for a mate and a nest. Our female was mantling and alarm calling and the male joined her on the nest and both spread their wings to protect the chick. Looking at the photo you can see how well the chick’s camouflage works as it blends into the nest. Our male came off the nest to see the intruder off which we were pleased to see but shortly after he and the intruder were spotted playing on the thermals together! As I write he’s just brought in a large live Pike, he obviously hasn’t learnt from his last experience of bringing in a live pike when it bit him on the leg.
The Great Crested Grebe chick has hatched, the baby has been spotted on its mum’s back several times today. It must have hatched last night and is cooried doon (snuggled down) quite happily in mum’s feathers. They’re still incubating the other egg(s) which should hatch any day now. But that’s not all, we have a second Great Crested Grebe nest on the loch in sight of the hides. This is the Grebe pair that have been displaying to each other and have now started to build a nest, again in the lilypads so we’ll watch this one with interest too.
Those of you watching the squirrelcam might have spotted David and myself walking around with a net and a box. We were trying to catch an injured Siskin chick to see if it needed treatment, fortunately after a couple of hours in the casualty box it recovered and was raring to go.
After all the rain it’s been a lovely sunny day here today which achieved the almost unheard of ‘T-shirt’ rating on the fleece weather rating scale.
We’ve had some more Osprey questions.
Q. How far away can the female’s calls for food can be heard?
A. We can hear her calls in the hides and sometime out in the car park which is 6 – 700 yards away from the nest.
Q. Are all calls at the same volume ie are alarm calls louder than food calls?
A. Different calls have different volumes and alarm calls are louder than food calls.
Q. How does the osprey cope with fish bones?
A. Ospreys digest the fish bones as they mostly soft and made of cartilage. Occasionally they produce pellets like an owl.
Q. How long it takes the females to moult?
A. A couple of months, our female is just coming to the end of her moult.
Q. When do you expect the chick to fledge?
A. It’s difficult to be exact as there’s lots of variations but most chicks fledge around 7 – 8 weeks old so that would be around the week beginning 9th July.
Q. How big is the chick?
A. At the moment the chick is about the size of a small hen, such as a Bantam.