Weekly Summary – Sunday, 13th May
Good morning everyone,
I do hope that you are each having a good weekend and that those feeling a little under the weather will soon be back on form.
Just one week to go before our ‘big meet’ at Loch of The Lowes and I hope that all those attending have made their final arrangements for transport, car sharing, pick-ups and accommodation that may be required. Food and soft drinks will be provided and tea and coffee will be available in the Visitor Centre. We have been allocated the use of the Crannog Hide in which to gather should the weather not be what we hope for and have been asked by The Visitor Centre to bear in mind that all sound from the hides travels across the loch to the Osprey nest and therefore if we can contain our excitement to a minimum so as not to disturb the birds it would be much appreciated. To cut down taking over the carpark at the Visitor Centre, we have agreed again with Lowes, to car share, and leave some cars at the car park in the bus station which is situated right at the very end of the main road coming from over the bridge into Dunkeld. As far as we are aware it is free parking on a Sunday. For those able to provide car sharing and/or lifts, we will be meeting there at around 12:30pm in order that no-one has to make their way up to The Loch alone.
Remember to bring your cameras so that we can all take home some special memories of the day and share our pictures on the blog in the days following. This will be a first time gathering for some and will be wonderful to finally meet and put faces and voices to the people we correspond with on a daily basis.
On behalf of the Admins, Thank you once again for all your help in making this another special day for us all, and you never know we might even get a hatching that day!
Now to the summary of events that have taken place on the nest during this last week.
© Screenshot pictures copyright Scottish Wildlife Trust
Sunday, 6th May
Lady is unsettled at 2:50am but slips back to sleep for the remainder of the night. Laddie has arrived early and is incubating at 6:45am, taking a break just before 7:00am when he has a quick wing-stretch. Upon returning he has only been settled for around ten minutes when he begins alarm calling but nothing comes of whatever has caused him a disturbance. Lady is back half an hour later and lands on her observation perch quietly chirping while Laddie thinks out his strategy on whether he should move or not! On second thoughts he decides he will take a break as there must be some sticks and moss in urgent need of being gathered somewhere around the loch. He is back just a few minutes later with a large twig which he attempts to place around Lady but concedes and flies away. At 9:25am the eggs lie unprotected and vulnerable but Lady has only taken a short break and is back upon them shortly joined by Laddie who is now undertaking a few light housekeeping duties around her. It is a wet morning and the nest is once again becoming saturated having only just dried out over the last few days. Lady stands giving a few brisk wing flaps in order to shake herself down. Just before midday Laddie delivers lunch in the form of a large pike which is swiftly taken away to eat in a drier location.
It is windy and wet and Laddie hunkers down bedraggled on the nest, protecting the eggs from the inclement forces. He remains there until just before 2:00pm when Lady returns having suitably feasted on the meal he delivered two hours earlier then she takes position back on the nest as Laddie vacates. Within ten minutes she is watching something in the airspace above her and begins alarm calling which brings Laddie back in like a shot and both birds mantle defensively as an intruder lands upon her perch. It is successfully evicted but remains within the vicinity while both birds continue to alarm call. Once the threat has been eliminated changeover of duty takes place and Laddie settles himself to incubate.
Following two further changeovers, the evening commences as Laddie flies in to carry out a spot of nest restoration while Lady is incubating. It is raining heavily and she is soaked but by 6:55pm her meal has been delivered and she moves to a more sheltered area to eat it. Laddie checks the eggs and turns them then sits back down to await her return. She is back by 8:10pm and other than a last brief visit from Laddie at 9:30pm all falls still and the loch-life retreats to its peaceful slumber with Lady drifting off into the land of osprey dreams.
Monday, 7th May
It has been a long night and Lady has slept with her wings slightly outstretched. At 4:50am she still appears to be dozing but will waken shortly as the loch comes to life with the sound of the dawn chorus. Laddie is witnessed as being on duty later in the morning and again at 9:40am when he delivers a headless fish as breakfast and settles himself down after checking and turning the eggs then proceeding to play with the bark and moss. Lady is back by 10:25am and once she has inspected over the side of the nest and is content that all is well Laddie vacates to allow her to take over. She remains on incubation for the rest of the morning checking the eggs at regular intervals and calling out intermittently.
It is a windy afternoon and Lady remains on duty until 2:35pm when another large meal is delivered and Laddie takes charge of the nest. Having only been on duty for ten minutes, he is alarm calling as the resident geese have made their presence known and come a little too close again. He will no doubt usher them back to their own quarters if this is the case. Within half an hour of Lady’s departure she is back, she could surely not have consumed that fish in such a short time and must have left it in her larder to go back to later.
By late afternoon as Laddie incubates, the geese are still causing bother and can be heard honking as they fly overhead. The rain is pelting down upon the nest and he is becoming soaked, he stands to stretch his wings and dispel the water that gathers upon them, taking the opportunity to check the eggs whilst he is up. Lady returns to the nest at 7:10pm having taken shelter and quite possibly fed from the earlier fish delivery and Laddie now gets his chance to dry off in his own favoured area. He returns with some fresh bedding a short while later though Lady remains on incubation for the rest of the evening and is settled and sleeping by 10:15pm.
Tuesday, 8th May
Lady lies flat through the early hours of the morning, just occasionally opening her eyes which can be seen as the light from the moon reflects onto them. She is wet with rain and stands at intervals to shake herself free of it and re-settle upon the eggs. By 6:30am the weather has dried off a little and she waits for Laddie to visit. She takes in the sweet sound of the dawn chorus which is now in full melody and gazes out across the loch. At 7:30am she is in need of a break and takes a quick flight around the nest site to stretch her wings, returning to bask in the early morning sunlight. As she waits for Laddie to make his appearance she is visited by the little great tit which continues to pluck at the microphone covering for its own nest bedding. Laddie has been fishing early and brings in breakfast at 8:30am but must be hungry as he fails to transfer it immediately and proceeds to eat on the nest within her presence but eventually relents and stands aside to let her take a nibble also. Suitably feasted, he moves down onto the eggs and takes up incubation as Lady flies off with her meal. She is gone for almost two hours, during which time Laddie has remained alert, watching above and around him and scanning the area from left to right then back again. He takes flight as she returns and she quickly settles back onto the eggs.
During the early afternoon he is back on duty, playing with the grass and moss. Lady flies onto her perch at 1:40pm and hops down to the nest to take over. She checks and turns the eggs at regular intervals through the afternoon and spends a while preening as she listens to the small birds chattering beneath the nest. Incubation changeover takes place at 4:10pm and he remains in-situ for almost an hour and a half, occupying his time with nest tidying until she returns. At 5:50pm Lady takes position back on the nest cup once she has checked that all is to her satisfaction. She has a final break when Laddie comes in for his last spell of duty for the day at 8:00pm and is back for her long overnight incubation at 9:30pm. Laddie retreats to his own sleeping quarters and she beds down, sound asleep by 10:20pm as the loch night-life takes over to commence its own routine daily chores.
Wednesday, 9th May
It has been still and silent around the nest and Lady has had a more peaceful night than of late. She briefly stirs for a wing-stretch and preen at 2:00am but otherwise dozes peacefully. Laddie arrives at 6:40am to take over and give her that much needed break following her lengthy overnight spell of duty. The weather is calm with barely a whisper of breeze in the air as the trees remain motionless and he surveys all around him in his alert fashion whilst undertaking his important sentry duty. At 7:45am Lady returns and changeover is effected; perhaps Laddie will set off around the loch on a breakfast hunt because as of yet, no meal has been delivered. At around 10:00am both birds are on the nest but something seems to have disturbed their peace as they appear a little agitated. It could possibly be the resident geese that have become somewhat bothersome of late but whatever the disturbance, it comes to nothing and all falls back to normal. By late morning Laddie has been gathering moss which he brings in as fresh bedding but Lady is still hoping he will locate a fish somewhere along his travels.
At 12:25pm Laddie duly obliges and lunch is delivered. Not wishing to appear overly eager, Lady takes her time in rising; she must maintain a modicum of decency and not let him think he has won her over! She then inspects and retrieves the meal and flies off to vigorously tear into it once no-one is watching her. Laddie is left to settle himself down and tidy around while he incubates. He is disturbed by an intruder at 1:40pm and stands alarm calling, whisking his head around as he watches its moves intently. His calls are sufficient to keep it at a safe distance from the nest and he settles back down having checked and turned the eggs. He remains on duty for the rest of the afternoon and upon Lady’s return he is afforded a welcome break of his own, he has definitely earned one!
The wind has gathered as the evening commences and Lady pecks at a twig to keep her beak in pristine condition. It is a significant ripping and tearing tool which is equally as important as those mega talons they possess and requires the equivalent of avian dentistry so must be maintained to a high standard on a regular basis. She is calling at 8:15pm and within ten minutes supper has appeared. She must therefore have witnessed Laddie at his feeding station and was letting him know she could see him, there is no way he can ignore her once he knows he’s been spotted but Laddie would not do that – would he? It is an extremely large meal which means she won’t go hungry overnight and could probably stow some in her larder for when later required. As Laddie undertakes his final incubation of the day he keeps a close check on the eggs rearranging the moss and twigs to his satisfaction then finally settles. Having been away for an hour and a quarter, Lady returns to allow him to retire to his sleeping perch for the night. He has done a good job as always and certainly does not appear to get rebuked or reprimanded as frequently as poor old Eric and 7Y did, but then perhaps age has mellowed the old girl and she simply cannot be bothered any longer! Once she has taken up position back on the eggs she settles herself down but the stillness of the night is disturbed by a low flying jet at 10:45pm. Lady is accustomed to these disturbances having witnessed them for many years and knows she will come to no harm from them. She has a wing-stretch just before midnight and beds down for the duration. Goodnight Lady!
Thursday, 10th May
Overnight has been wet for our birds and Lady has hunkered down ensuring the warmth and safety of her un-hatched young. Can she feel them moving within their shells; can they hear her and Laddie chirping and calling to one another; has their egg tooth yet formed which will give them the strength to break through the inner membrane of their shell? This is known as ‘pipping’ and chicks have a ‘pipping muscle’ located on the back of their necks to enable them to use their egg tooth to hatch. This egg tooth comes away after hatching.
It is a windy morning around the loch and Laddie is on duty, sitting tight and playing around with the nesting materials while he awaits Lady’s return. At 11:40am she flies in landing upon her observation perch then hops down to the nest bowl for a moment with Laddie. Once he has vacated, she checks the eggs and settles herself into position. She remains on incubation throughout the afternoon, turning and checking the eggs at regular intervals.
Just after 6:00pm Laddie delivers a sizeable feast which he transfers to her and she takes off. Despite her soliciting, she was somewhat reluctant to leave the eggs but she knows they are safe with Laddie in charge. He wastes no time and immediately takes over incubation. The resident geese are honking as evening draws in and Laddie rises occasionally to tend to the eggs safely incubating beneath him. Any non-hatchings which may occur this year will not be down to the lack of attention provided by our birds, as uninterrupted incubation took place from the first egg being laid. Lady returns at 8:40pm, having been absent from the nest for over two hours. She will be fully feasted and assured that hunger will not catch her up during her long overnight incubation. Laddie retires to his sleeping quarters and Lady has settled down for the night by 10:00pm.
Friday, 11th May
During the night Lady rouses to preen and reposition the eggs. Laddie is already on duty at 4:30am as dawn is approaching and the loch coming to life with its resident songbirds. He remains on incubation until almost 7:30am when Lady reappears and provides him a break of his own. Just an hour later he is back in, rearranging the sticks and nest bedding and spending a little time together with Lady before she departs again. The wind has picked up and it is getting blustery around the loch. By late morning he has been relieved of duty and Lady once again is sat tightly upon their eggs. She is unaffected by the changeable weather as, after all these years, she is more than accustomed to it and has sat through every type of weather we can possible imagine. No wonder our birds choose to holiday in warmer climes and stay there for so long!
Lady repositions the eggs just after midday and Laddie arrives to take over at 12:30pm but first spends quality time with her before she departs. She is away for just less than an hour and comes back looking wet and bedraggled. She has either been fishing or taking in the full force of the rain to be in such a wet condition. Laddie retreats to collect fresh nesting materials and locates a rather large stick which simply must become a part of their nest; it is far too good to leave behind for someone else to make use of. He struggles as he attempts to place it into position and then picks up an alternative stick which he puts onto Lady’s back to make room for it. By mid-afternoon Lady is still on duty and calling. No fish delivery has yet been witnessed and she is getting hungry. She could, of course, have fished herself earlier in the day or even eaten from her cache but there is no evidence to support this so far.
Laddie has excelled in collecting sticks and branches today and following further changeovers of duty Lady is enjoying a little evening sunshine as the resident geese make their way overhead. Throughout the evening she solicits but no meal is delivered and by 10:00pm she has given up and settled down for the long night ahead.
Saturday, 12th May
Lady has had a quiet night, stirring only to reposition herself and the eggs and take an occasional wing-stretch. Laddie is an early visitor just after 4:00am with the tail end of a fish for Lady’s breakfast but she shows no interest and flies away leaving it on the side of the nest. It is a beautifully sunny morning at the loch and Laddie is still on duty at 6:30am. Lady re-joins him following her morning break and only then proceeds to tuck into the remains of the fish delivered earlier. Following a further changeover of duty Laddie is undertaking some nestorations involving stick moving and finally settles down once he is happy with his work. At 9:30am both birds occupy the nest with periodic changes throughout the morning. Laddie continues his nest building, at one point bringing in another stick and sitting directly upon Lady thereby rendering her unable to move.
The afternoon has remained dry and Lady sits resplendent in the glorious sunshine. However, she reaps revenge upon Laddie when she returns from a break at 3:20pm carrying a large moss and lichen covered branch, dropping it right on top of him. He looked up at her questioningly before taking flight, did he get the message? Just after 5:00pm Laddie delivers what looks to be a complete fish and Lady is up before he has even landed. She takes it to an eating perch somewhere around the loch leaving Laddie to take over incubation yet again.
The wind has picked up as twilight draws in and Laddie arrives with another large stick which fits just nicely onto Lady’s back. By late evening she is incubating and at 9:48pm repositions the eggs. She takes a final break to stretch her wings just after 10:00pm and settles herself down for her long overnight duty. Goodnight Lady!
A SONNET FOR LADY FROM LADDIEOh Lady, grand and stately, you’re my object of desire As you nest within your eyrie, set my beating heart on fire I saw you as I passed your loch, your home for many years And could not leave you sat alone to wait in vain through tears. I stopped to offer comfort, bring a smile back to your face You told me of your ‘Laird’ who last you saw in this great place You thought that time was passing and too late it might have been To undertake your duties there befitting of a Queen. We discussed the situation and concluded that we should Assess our growing friendship, for if your Laird returned he would Expect to reaffirm the bond you held with him so dear When the eggs you bore together sadly failed to hatch last year. I substitute for taking care of you and tending to the nest In his absence I’ve restored the structure to its very best Your Laird would want you safe and warm in this adverse and stormy weather My Lady, for you alone, I will provide for this endeavour. So together we are coupled as we sit in fine resplendence And the eggs that form our bond will soon hatch into our dependents Graceful young to hold our genes and to the population add And continue this great story of a ‘Lady’ and her ‘Lad’.
Finally, could anyone wanting to purchase the 2011 fundraiser book “The Lady Returns”, please leave their names on the list which is under the “Fundraising” drop down menu, and “Names for Book Request”. Add your name in the “Leave a reply” box at the bottom of the page and one will be ordered for you. I am hoping to have these delivered from printing before the meeting on 20th May and can distribute them at that time. For those that are not attending I will arrange for them to be posted out as I did last year. The price will be £14.00 (plus postage) For those that have already pre-ordered please check the list and make sure your name is included. If it is not, let me know please!Nestcap Saturday 12th May 2012 Fish Deliveries – 2 04.05 Laddie arrives for 1st changer over with a fish for Lady, but she’s not interested, and flies off 06.28 Sunshine on the Loch of the Lowes and Laddie on the nest. He gets up for a stretch of his wings. He has found the remains of a fish in the top of the nest and eating some, now joined by Lady, who flew in from over the Loch. They are both eating it together now.
06.31 Laddie flies off, leaving Lady incubating the eggs. 06.38 Laddie back with the piece of fish he flew off with. Lady shouting at him. He is eating it on the nest.
06.41 Lady gets up and takes it off him, she flies off and he gets onto the eggs. 07.35 – Laddie still on the nest. 07-48, Laddie on the eggs, in lovely sunshine. Maybe today the fine weather will result in better fishing. 08.39 BOTH ON NEST 09.27 Just looked in at Lowes – BOTH ON NEST, CHANGEOVER 11.50 Laddie flies onto nest and immediatly sticks a twig across Lady’s backwhile she is lying very low in nest, he’s sitting on her now! 11-50, Laddie lands on the nest, and proceeds to put a stick across Lady`s back and then walk on her head
11-52 he is standing right over her, she cant move as her head is under his bum , and he is still moving sticks.
11-53, he is off. 10.55. I didn’t think Lady would give up her comfortable spot, and off he flies. Lady rearranging moss around her chest, sitting in 11o’cposition. 12-11, Lady sitting in glorious sunshine. 12.33 Is it the static cam that is still on? 13.31 The picture of the nest is very poor. Lady is beginning to call out and it’s windy 14.29 Really awful picture today ~ guessing it’s Lady on the nest but struggling to make out who it is! 15.11 Lady incessant in her calling now 15.14 Laddie arrives empty talloned. Lady still in full nagging mode, leaves in a hurry. 15.23 KARMA ~ Brilliant. Lady arrives back with a thick stick. Promptly places it on Laddies back and stands on it, only for a few seconds though and he is off!! 15.41 Lady shouting again, plus getting feed back from the VC by the sounds of it of her shouting too 16-16, What is that to the left of Lady? a big fish, or her wing at an awkward angle?. 16-38, She has just moved and you were right MARION. Thank you. It did look rather odd though. Nightwatch Notes from Loch of the Lowes: http://blogs.scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/osprey/ 17.01 Fish Delivery, looks like the head is still on. Lady up before Laddie landed, straight on it and off. He gets onto the eggs 18.00 Static camera on 18.43 Lady arrives on her perch. Laddie flies off and Lady flies down into the nest. 19-06 just logged on in time to see Laddie land. Then he picks up a stick and drapes it across Ladies back.
19-07, now he`s off. Lady trying to put stick back in place in front of her. 19-11, Lady now in dappled sunshine. Beautiful. 22.06 Lady just flew off for a little wing stretch, but was back in less than a minute 22.37 Lady looks well settled now 23.26 Lady still has her head tucked under her wings sleeping 23.45 Lady up and gives her eggs a little turn and then settles down again, and she lays her head back down again
I would like to wish our good friend Susan (USA) a very Happy Birthday. Have a wonderful day Susan and hoping all of your dreams come true! xxx
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.