Our apologies for the lack of updates over the weekend- your ranger is very poorly and the rest of the staff and volunteer crew kindly filled in for her at short notice- special thanks to Emma and Vicky!
There has be considerable excitement at the osprey nest over the weekend, but no hatching yet. An osprey intruder persistently dive bombed the nest of Saturday evening ( an unringed bird) but our male did his duty and defended the nest despite having a fish in his talons at the time. The same evening an otter was seen on the loch in front of the hides and one of our Great Crested Grebe pairs suffered a disaster- the lily pad nest was raided by a crow when both parents were absent and two of the newly laid eggs were lost.
This incident highlights just how lucky we were on Sunday morning , when our male osprey again left the eggs undefended on the nest for about 20mins- sheer luck meant the crows didn’t notice and the eggs survived intact.
This morning things took another worrying turn, when the male osprey again left the eggs for nearly an hour!! Luckily it was warm this morning, and we are hoping that no damage was done. It does seem strange that the female is so often absent from the nest and that the male is so easily distracted- we can’t explain this behaviour with an certainty but we can’t discount the possibility that the birds are losing some interest in the eggs as they are unviable.
So today is 36 days since laying for our first osprey egg which means we are now in the ‘zone’ for potential hatching ( remember anything from 35-40 days is considered normal).
We will all be looking our for the signs of imminent hatching:
- The eggs being turned more often by the parents during incubation
- The female bird head tilting and listening to the chicks inside the eggs calling
- The eggs themselves moving independently- not touched by the parents
- The appearance of tiny holes or cracks in the eggs as they start to hatch.