Good morning all.
I hope that the weekend is being kind to you and you are enjoying the late spring weather that has finally graced us with its much needed presence. I shall be making my way down to Machynlleth later today to spend some time at the Dyfi Osprey Project during the week where I shall be making a donation to Emyr and the Team from sales of The New Kid on The Loch. During the latter part of the week I shall be visiting Gigrin Farm to catch up with the red kites and hopefully get some more photo’s of one of the leucistic kites if it shows up. A full week of birding and photography – what more can one ask for! I vividly remember this very weekend last year when torrential floods hit the area and my visit to the Springwatch site showed the utter devastation and chaos that ensued. The Springwatch Production Village being washed away and the Team frantically searching for something on which to report.
However, now to my weekly post. Our tiny chick is now just one week old. From watching it hatch last Saturday morning up to this point in time, it has come on in leaps and bounds. Now able to hold its head up steadily without toppling under its weight, the chick is taking food on the regular basis of ‘little and often’. As ever, Laddie has supplied his family with a surfeit of food, pike being high on his list of catches and at one point bringing in a rainbow trout that had two undigested smaller fish in its upper tract. Many deliveries have been so large that they have been taken away to recycle after mum and chick have fully feasted and then brought back to the nest later when dad has had his own fill. Lady has slipped back into her oh-so-familiar matriarchal role; she knows better than any other what is required to keep her chick cool, warm, dry, fed, safe and protected under her constant watch. Undertaking his role of hunter-gatherer with absolute perfection, Laddie has continued to source sticks and branches to build up the nest sides and ensure the chick does not wander too closely to the edge of the nest once it finds its feet and begins to explore. During one comical incident both he and Lady grappling with the same stick as he pulled one way and she pulled it in the opposite direction like two people with a turkey wishbone.
It has been a warm and sunny week around the loch though the three remaining eggs which continue to be incubated look likely to have now unfortunately failed. This is no bad thing when you consider that our birds do at least have one successful hatchling to care for which will no doubt receive the very best of the best and will have no sibling rivalry or pecking order for those piscatorial delights that Laddie revels in depositing on the nest.
A number of intruders have made unwelcome attempts upon the nest during the week when on one occasion Laddie, complete with a full cargo of fish at the time, had cause to intercept and evict two large ospreys from the area that were buzzing the nest.
Other life around the loch include the small passerines which continue to belt out their dawn chorus as the loch comes to life early each morning while the blue tit still sees the need to peck at the microphone taking the soft webbing for its own purposes. The resident goosander now has thirteen chicks following her around the loch however the great crested grebes, having worked so hard to produce an egg lost it to a crow when they left it unprotected on their nest; there is still time however to lay again before the season gets too far underway. Two of the resident mallard families have caused something of a stir following an incident in which one adult killed a duckling from a neighbouring brood and seemingly lost one of its own chicks to that brood at the same time. There is some question over whether one of the chicks has defected to the other side or been fostered but perhaps we will just never know. On Friday the beaver finally made an appearance, swimming across from the inlet and passing close enough to the viewing hides for the following shot to be taken by John Monks who was fortunate enough to witness both its arrival and subsequent departure. Well done John and many thanks indeed for the splendid photos taken this week at the loch and so kindly shared with us all.
Nest update for Saturday, 8th June.
It is a beautiful morning as the loch awakens to the trilling sound of the dawn chorus. The loch-side residents go about their business, their offspring following closely behind or upon their backs as they glide across the water seeking out an early meal. The blue of the sky being reflected in the clear waters which now slowly increase in temperature under the rays of the sun. Laddie has been an early visitor having been out hunting and delivered breakfast to his hungry family. He stands for a while watching, taking in the scene of Lady feeding their chick, each mouthful offered being accompanied by a tiny chirp upon receipt, before finally taking flight to return to his morning tasks. Lady then feeds herself and once again takes her place brooding the now very full and lethargic chick. At 9:26am Laddie returns with another meal, in so doing he interrupts Lady’s morning preen along with the sleeping chick as it quietly and contentedly dozes; raising its head it becomes aware of the delivery and stirs to receive another meal. As the morning progresses and the heat intensifies Lady shields her panting chick from the searing sun. It has certainly been fortunate to have hatched and commenced life outside of its shell during such a pleasant week rather than as others have done in the driving rain and hail. Most of us will remember that beautiful Blue 44 hatched under similar conditions last year and began his life in the warmth of what was to be our unbelievably short summer while sadly others succumbed to the torrential storms and were lost within days and even hours as was witnessed at Dyfi. Rothiemurchus was witnessed to pay a visit to the loch again this morning, he is becoming a regular now and has been seen on a number of occasions, easily identified by his leg ring and satellite transmitter.
During the afternoon Laddie undertakes nest renovation duties, searching for a suitable position in which to secure an awkwardly large branch, only just missing the chick as he hoists and heaves it around the nest. We know without doubt though that Laddie will be an excellent parent, demonstrated so capably for us last year. His fishing skills being second to none and his dedication and attention afforded to the eggs and subsequent hatchling bringing a tear to many eyes.
As the webcam was unobtainable during the late part of day and into the evening I am only able to bring you the update as detailed above. Please accept my apologies!
The New Kid on The Loch.
I have now taken delivery of our third fundraising book entitled ‘The New Kid on The Loch’. Our adult male being heavily featured with some outstanding photographic inclusions from Neil MacDonald, Ross Forsyth, John Monks, José Antonio Manzanedo, Paul & Eth Jessett and our very own Jan Ellis together with contributions from Matt Davies and Emma McVey. How can we ever thank them all enough for what they so kindly share with us.
Many of you will have now received from me your pre-ordered books; for those that have not please PM me with your mailing details. For those who would like to order a copy please add your names in the ‘Leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the Book Request section on the Fundraising tab or PM/text me directly. The cost is £15.00 per book plus £3.71 UK postage. Proceeds from sales going toward the Dyfi Osprey Project, Rutland Osprey Fundraising Program, Loch of the Lowes Osprey Fund and the upkeep of the Lady of The Loch Wildlife Village blog site.
Payment may be made either by cheque directly to me (S.A.Davies) or through Paypal where I will issue an invoice. Thank you to all who have supported us in these causes so far. A donation of £200 was handed to SWT Loch of The Lowes Team during our visit on 19th May and there is also a donation of £200 being made to the Dyfi Osprey Project when I attend there this week.
Message from Fiona
We are about to update our current birthday list. If you would like your name to remain on the birthday list can you please PM me to confirm your birthday. Likewise if you would like your name removed, please PM me, thank you, Fiona.
The Dyfi Osprey Project and the Scottish wildlife Trust have kindly given their permission for us to post still and video images from their webcams. To visit their sites please click on the relevant link. Loch of the Lowes. Dyfi Osprey Project.