Good weather for ducks would be an apt description of conditions here at Loch of the Lowes this morning. The rain is sheeting down, the skies are leaden grey and there is a stiff breeze blowing across the loch. Unfortunately for our two young ospreys, PH1 & PH2, there is nowhere for them to hide as they are now far too big to seek mum LF15’s protection but aren’t yet able to fly off and seek shelter amongst the trees. So they are simply having to hunker down and see it out.
LF15 is dutifully standing guard despite the conditions – presumably keeping an eye out for any sign of LM12 arriving with a fish. We haven’t seen him so far today and the inclement weather will make fishing more of a challenge than usual. Hopefully the weather may ease off at some point.
At 6 to 7 weeks of age it won’t be long now till this year’s brood make their maiden flights. They certainly made the most of yesterday’s drier interlude, with plenty of wing stretching and flapping being observed. This will help them to grow and strengthen their wing muscles ready for first takeoff.
Our IT team have been working hard over the last few weeks to attempt to resolve the issue with the nest camera microphone. Unfortunately it seems that the problem is with the equipment over at the nest site, which means that we won’t be able to do anything about this until the end of the season when our birds have departed.
This is dissappointing for all of us as the sound unquestionably adds another dimension to the watching experience – we’ve been missing it greatly in the visitor centre too. However, the safety and security of our ospreys has to be the top priority so we can’t do anything that would potentially jeapordise that.
The search for FR3
Following last week’s news that FR3’s satellite tag had stopped transmitting, we got in touch with Fansu Bojang – a freelance wildlife guide based in the Gambia, who has worked with the Rutland Osprey team as part of their West Africa project.
Fansu very kindly agreed to go to Bulok, where FR3 had been residing for the last few months, to search for him. On Saturday (24th June) he spent the whole day at Bulok looking for FR3 but was unable to locate him.
The mangrove swamps are a dense environment and there are so many places where FR3 could have been hiding out of sight, so this doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t there. However equally it is possible that he may have moved on.
At this stage we are still hopeful that FR3 is alive and well. There was nothing in the data to indicate otherwise as far as we could tell so hopefully it is just a case of transmitter failure.
We are very grateful to Fansu for the time he spent searching for FR3.