Our Osprey at Loch of the Lowes have been enduring a spell of really heavy rain the last couple of days- what change from last weeks heatwave! Though the rain is welcome for the plants and the water levels, we can’t help but wish we didn’t have such extremes of temperature so often, as this may be a factor in the survival of so many young birds and animals. Our hearts go out to our colleagues at the Dyfi Osprey project whose birds have lost a chick to the weather- a not uncommon occurrence. On a brighter note, there is good Osprey news from Threave Nature reserve in Galloway and Aberfoyle FCS Ospreys, to join chicks at RSPB Loch Garten and Glaslyn and Tweed Valley Osprey Project, Keilder Water and Rutland Water. Every Osprey chick born in the UK has the potential to contribute to the future population and the recolonisation of these wonderful birds in their historical range.
Our female Osprey has done a stirling duty, as always, in sheltering her wee chick from the weather. At this stage its fluffy down feathers are not waterproof at all (it won’t be until it gets its’ adult feathers in a few weeks) and such small chicks are not good a thermoregulation (maintaining their own body temperature). This is why it is essential that nest such as these remain undisturbed by humans during this vital period, as if the parents are scared off a nest, they can circle for half and hour or more in distress, and this can be long enough to eggs or young chicks to get cold and die. This is why it is vital for us all the respect safe distances around birds nests this time of year, particularly for photography etc- let the birds be your guide, if they sound distressed or leave the nest in alarm, you are causing dangerous disturbance. This is a good policy for all birds’ nests, not just highly legally protected ones likes ospreys as disturbing any nesting bird is an offence.
On the topic of baby birds our blue tits in one live nest box at Loch of the Lowes are doing well with five chicks at nearly a week old. The second box, is still yet to hatch.