Over the last few days our three osprey chicks have been practising their wing flapping, stretching, hopping and helicoptering. Yesterday’s blustery winds and sudden gusts caused great hilarity and gasps of mixed relief and horror from their audience when it looked as if they were about to be swept off the edge of the nest.
With each passing day the chicks grow stronger and their judgements for height, distance and balance are improved. It will not be long before one of them takes the biggest step of its life and soars into the air.
Which one will go first? Will it be one of the larger birds, believed to be females? KP0 certainly looks ready and her wings are enormous now. KP1 is doing a lot of preening as well as building up the muscles in her wings. Or will it be KP2, believed to be the male of the group? He spends quite a bit of time lying down but recently has been hopping and flapping with as much gusto as his sisters.
Today the wind is gentle but the rain has been virtually constant and at times very heavy and thundery until mid afternoon. LF15 spent several hours away from the nest, perching nearby and only returning from time to time to bring in sticks. Whether a few wee twigs will now stop them accidentally falling off the edge is hard to believe but she takes great care with her arrangements of new nest material.
The eggs in the 2nd Great Crested Grebe nest have hatched! So, we now have two pairs of these beautiful birds sailing around with their little black and white chicks on their backs. Despite the rain, a fallow deer wandered through the woodland opposite the hides while, several times, an arctic tern dived spectacularly into the loch catching small fish.
All we need is a bit of evening sunshine to bring a lovely day to a perfect ending.
Visitor Centre Assistant