It’s been fish-tastic today with five fish so far – 3 Pike, 1 Brown Trout and 1 Mystery Fish. They’ve not been very big fish which is probably why we’re seeing more than normal. The male has also changed his fishing habits over the last couple of days bringing in ‘elevenses’ except the 11 is at night not during the day! They’ve been headless, meaning he’s caught them earlier and taken the head off before bringing them to the nest. It also explains why he’s not been feeding them early in the morning. There’s no clear reason for the change – perhaps its something to do with the weather we can’t know for sure.
Yesterday our chick was testing out its wings by flapping them… right in its mother’s face. She didn’t’ seem very bothered though. It’s been following its mum around the nest today to get shade from the sun and at times it was hard to see it in the nest.
Q: In yesterday’s blog you referred to the chick as female, I thought you said you didn’t know the sex?
A: We don’t know the sex of the chick but we all find it very difficult not to call it ‘he’ or ‘she’ and remember to call it, ‘it’. As Emma has mentioned in previous blogs Ospreys have no ‘external plumbing’ so there’s no way of telling what sex it is from a distance. When we ring and tag the chick we should be able to tell from the size of the legs whether its male or female although even this can be proved wrong. We won’t truly know until it returns in a few years time and starts to breed. There are cases of male Ospreys laying eggs and female Ospreys turning out to be male! We have been joking in the Visitor Centre that it’s female as it’s so feisty just like its mum but we don’t know.
Congratulations to RSPB Glaslyn who saw their first chick fledge yesterday and we’re looking forward to seeing ours following suit in a few weeks time. For us this will be particularly special as it will be her 50th chick.
We’ve had great views of Great Crested Grebe chicks today with the two Black & White striped heads poking out of their parent’s back. At one point one of the adults appeared with a fish in its mouth, the other adult with the chicks on it’s back swam rapidly towards it and the chicks got excited about being fed. The adult with the fish swam round to feed the chicks only to find the fish was too big so promptly ate the fish itself! Both adult Grebes then had a wash and brush up with the chicks hanging on to their parent’s back and at one point they were completely on their side with their head horizontal to the water. Shortly after that both chicks were dropped off one parent’s back in the water and promptly climbed on to the other’s back, obviously it was time for a change over. It’s a real privilege watching the Grebe and their young and I look forward to seeing them develop further.
Listen out for ‘Tweet of the Day’ tomorrow on BBC Radio 4 at 5.58am as the Osprey is the featured ‘Tweet’. It’s a series of fascinating stories about our British birds inspired by their calls and songs.