The Ospreys have been chilling out round the nest today, our female was off the nest for a while this morning but sitting nearby on the dead tree she favours. The chick has been stretching its wings and doing lots of wing flapping. This is great for strengthening the wing muscles but no so great for the staff inside when they see the youngster standing on the nest looking poised to take off! There was a moment earlier on when the chick had its wings out covering both parents, almost as if it were hugging them. There’s been three Pike in today so far, following on from his mammoth fishing effort last night that saw 5 fish in 4 hours. I was lucky enough to watching him fishing in the River Tay in the middle of Dunkeld last night, lots of people walked past unaware there was an Osprey fishing in front of them. He’s just made a fishing attempt in front of the hides which he abandoned when he was mobbed by a pair of Common Terns.
Our Great Crested Grebe chicks are doing well and are almost as popular as the Ospreys. The injured adult seems to have recovered and earlier we saw one of the adults come up and feed the chicks with a fish almost as big as them. I didn’t think they were going to manage to eat it but slurp, gulp and it was gone with just the fish tail sticking out the mouth. At one point each adult had a chick on their back, sharing the parental duties but giving us a few worrying moments as we couldn’t see the second chick before we realised where it was. They’ve also been doing alot more swimming on their own and at one point the adult didn’t seem to keen on having them back so kept flicking them off with its foot. Interestingly when you watch the adults bringing food or feathers over to the chicks they keep wetting it as they go along so it arrives in the right condition for eating. Feathers for eating? Yes that’s one of the Grebe’s feeding habits to eat their own feathers or feed them to their chicks to help with digestion. They also eat their own tapeworm.