Evening everyone, as I am on osprey watch nightshift tonight, Fridays Osprey diary really becomes Saturdays morning’s diary- my apologies in advance for any overtired spelling errors! Our Osprey Nest Nightcam is having one of its rare nights when it has decided to work ( it has been very intermittent for some weeks after cable damage) , so I am streaming it tonight for you to enjoy- it may not last though I’m afraid.
Friday was a muggy warm and rather windy day on the loch, and our two birds have continued their incubation vigil. There has been lots of egg shuffling and listening by the female in particular- all typical standard behavior we would expect at this stage, and nothing aberrant. The male brought in some more sticks, and they both fiddled with nesting materials a lot. There were three fish deliveries around 3pm and just before 6pm, as well at 9.45 this evening.
Otherwise nothing out of the ordinary happened and so the wait continues…
Saturday the 1st of June is:
Day 44 for egg 1
Day 41 for egg 2
Day 38 for egg 3
Day 35 for egg 4
Osprey Q and A:
Q: I noticed over the last few days that when the adults move the eggs are swarming with flies. Is this a bad sign that the eggs are rotten and the flies smell the contents?
A: Flies are always attracted to eggs, as their surface is generally humid, so we don’t think this is necessarily because they are addled or rotten. We have seen this in previous years and the eggs went on to hatch ok.
Q: One bird has its eyes closed a lot of the time. Is it unwell?
A: Both the birds will doze and rest on the nest frequently, and often close their eyes- this is completely normal. We have noticed that the male sometime closes one eye more than the other but don’t think this is anything to worry about.
Q: I seem to remember that on one of the daily blogs it mentioned that one of the eggs had moved a few times on its own, if this is the case would that mean there would definitely be one chick?
A: Yes, we did think we had seen at least one of the eggs moving when neither of the parents touched it, which we took as a sign there was life inside. However, it is possible we could have been mistaken, or that the chick inside has perished since- but we hope not!
Q: I was wondering how far away can one bird hear its mate calling from the nest?
A: Anyone who has spent time in our hides will know that the ospreys cries can be heard right across the loch and well beyond- particularly the alarm call which must carry half a mile or more depending on the wind conditions on the day. We certainly have seen the male return to the nest in response to this call from the direction of the next door loch ( Craiglush).
Q: How do I tell which bird is sitting on the nest?
A: Neither of our birds is ringed alas, so here are some tips:
The female osprey is larger and has a much darker chest ‘collar’ marking. She is overall a paler ‘washed out’ brown, with some new darker feathers starting to grow in ( visible as deep chocolate covered semicircles). The male by contrast is small, darker in colour, but has a much paler chest- very bright white with just a few brown speckles. When he is sitting you can also see the end of his wing tips are very long and cross over past the end of his tail. Failing that, it is the male who arrives with the fish and the female who sits on the eggs overnight!