Weekly Summary – Sunday, 19th August 2012
Good morning everyone.
Another strange week with the weather, sun, wind, rain and the heaviest of storms. What a wonderful summer we are having! I hope that anyone attending the annual Birdfair at Rutland this weekend will be having a good time despite it though.
As the time draws ever-nearer for our male birds and juveniles to be giving thought to their migration, I wonder what Blue 44 will make of it and whether he yet knows what lies ahead for him. Laddie certainly will, having undertaken the journey previously although just how many times previously is unknown to us. We have seen a number of new developments in the life of Blue 44 this week, each one building his character as an individual in some surprising and rather amusing ways.
For those following the Kickstarter link, I have received notification that the target had been reached on Friday as hoped. I, along with many others will now look forward to the production that will hopefully hit our screens in the near future and would like to wish Jacob well in his new venture. Without the kind donations from osprey lovers across the world his project would surely not be made possible. Well done Jacob.
“If anyone is experiencing problems opening the above video please click on the word vimeo which will take you to the footage.”
Sunday, 12th August
At 6:20am Laddie arrives with a headless breakfast. He is swiftly followed by Blue 44 who wrestles the fish from his foothold then spends a few minutes eating upon the nest before taking it away to his dining perch. When Laddie returns just after 7:00am he scans around for any leftovers but on seeing nothing, makes his departure to go about his morning duties collecting sticks for on-going nest maintenance. At 9:30am he flies in with a long stick which he places at the edge of the eyrie and proceeds to tidy around, repositioning it three or four times before he is content with its placement then takes off to continue his day.
Lunch arrives at 12:23pm when dad delivers another headless meal for his boy. Blue 44 commences eating but is now showing a preference to move away from the nest site to do so and takes flight with it. During the late afternoon the wind picks up around the loch and Laddie excels in catching an enormous trout which must have taken some effort on his part to deliver and will certainly be a test of strength to see whether junior can execute a flight carrying such a large meal at this stage in his development. Remaining on the nest and having eaten for almost an hour and a quarter he withdraws to clean his beak upon the branches of mum’s perch before departing. Laddie is in luck when on arriving a short while later to discover the large uneaten portion which Blue 44 had not removed and stays to eat from it for ten minutes before taking it with him on his departure.
It is certainly turning out to be a well-travelled trout as at 7:35pm Laddie brings back what resembles the same leftover piece for Blue 44 to continue with. Once again, he eats as much as he can then takes off for an evening flight around the loch. Laddie finally gets to take the last of the fish away after snacking upon it for fifteen minutes. Will we see it return for another round?
Monday, 13th August
Laddie is on the nest and waiting for Blue 44 at 6:31am. Clutched within his talons is a fresh breakfast and he scans around for his boy. It is evident that Blue 44 is unaware of his arrival or he would indeed have landed by this time and Laddie therefore vacates with breakfast still held tight. Within two minutes junior has arrived but does not stay and heads straight out again. He has more success an hour later and this time spots dad on his approach making certain he is there to take delivery. It looks as though Laddie has retained the same fish from earlier and transfers this over which Blue 44 commences eating then decides to leave taking it with him. The nest remains quiet through the morning but Laddie visits at 11:35am and takes the opportunity to do a little light nest maintenance, moving around twigs before taking off in the direction of his favourite lookout post.
It’s a dull and breezy afternoon as Blue 44 lands upon the nest calling. His actions would suggest that he has spotted dad either with a fish or making a fresh catch as he bobs his head and springs up and down calling out to him. He is not wrong and just five minutes later Laddie flies in with a good sized meal but does not transfer it immediately. Instead, he stands scanning around the loch and then begins to eat it for himself. All the while Blue 44 is pacing around and squeaking; was this fish intended for someone other than him? Tired of waiting, Blue 44 eventually pushes dad from the fish and takes charge of it for himself and with a quick shake of his tail feathers, Laddie departs leaving junior to continue.
When an early evening meal is delivered at 6:20pm Blue 44 is in no mood for another of dad’s games. Giving him no time to stand around and taunt him, he snatches the fish and flies away to make an immediate start on his supper leaving Laddie on the nest for a few minutes more before making his own departure. At 8:30pm Blue 44 is back for a late visit and spends a while looking out over the loch. Can he sense his own impending departure at this stage?
Tuesday, 14th August
It is a quiet morning at the nest and both Blue 44 and Laddie are occupying their day out of camera visibility. At 10:09am junior arrives and immediately commences calling for dad and breakfast. His visits are brief and he stays only long enough to look around and head away in the direction of Laddie’s favoured perching area.
During the afternoon he is once again watching for dad at 12:45pm but he is still a no-show and could be a little further away from the loch than normal. He has been leaving Blue 44 to fend more for himself and encouraging him away from the nest site when he could. Another swift visit at 1:25pm is non-productive for him also although he scans around calling. The wind has picked up as the loch ripples in the background and the trees sway from side to side but this has no detrimental effect on the now strong and handsome juvenile that stands sturdily upon mum’s perch.
Two visits to the nest are made during the early part of the evening though still dad has not put in an appearance but maybe tomorrow will be a different story.
Wednesday, 15th August
Junior drops in at 6:35am looking for dad and hoping for breakfast, staying only a short while but twenty minutes later he is rewarded with a large meal from poor Laddie who gets unceremoniously pushed aside in his eagerness to get to the fish. It is a fresh whole catch and Laddie leaves Blue 44 to deal with it as he takes flight. The juvenile consumes as much as he is able to in the forty minutes that he occupies the nest then finally flies off taking the remains with him. During the morning Blue 44 was witnessed teasing the viewers in the visitor hides as he made practice fishing dives and later emerged from behind the tree area with what looked to be a small fish clutched in his talons. He was seen to fly over Laddie who was perched on one of the trees who proceeded to join him as they flew together toward the woodland. Although there was no sighting of this particular catch it would be lovely to believe that another developmental milestone had now been reached.
The nest has remained quiet through the morning but following the excitement of Blue 44’s recently caught lunch an intruder has appeared in the area and Laddie flies in alarm calling and mantling as it dives down at the nest almost landing a strike. As he continues calling he watches its every move before taking flight to give chase. Blue 44 having witnessed the intrusion flies back to the safety of the eyrie, watching above and around him as the chase ensues. He shouts as he keeps guard but his calls are drowned out by the noise of the wind as the exposed nest rocks back and forth in the unseasonable gale that eddies around the loch. Finding safety on his home turf Blue 44 is back in residence later where he remains standing and watching across the loch for over an hour.
At 5:00pm Blue 44 is heard calling in the distance and a moment later he lands. He continues to call and is possibly food begging from dad but if Laddie has made a recent catch then he is keeping some of it for himself. Junior picks around the nest bed and on finding a piece of discarded fishtail, proceeds to finish it off. It would seem that other than the fish delivered at breakfast time Laddie has encouraged Blue 44 to go about his own duties today. Having possibly caught his first fish and if this being the case, he has now proven to Laddie that he is competent enough to execute a successful catch and is well on his way to self-sufficiency when migration times comes around.
Thursday, 16th August
Blue 44 has been carefully watching Laddie and sees breakfast being delivered at 7:20am flying in immediately after him to take delivery. With Laddie having already removed the head, junior is treated to the juicy flesh of the body; consuming some of it on the nest then taking the remainder away to finish elsewhere before dad drops by to check on the status of any leftovers. Pacing about the nest he pecks at any tiny morsels that have been left behind before taking flight to get on with his tasks. Blue 44 is back in at 9:35am and calling for dad but it is another hour before he shows with his second headless offering of the morning. As Blue 44 mantles over his meal squeaking, Laddie’s foot becomes entangled within the offshoots of a branch, making several unsuccessful attempts to extract it before finally breaking free. Taking the meal away to his new feeding perch Blue 44 quickly departs.
It is a windy afternoon as Blue 44 flies in spending a short while back at the nest calling to dad but Laddie is not on site to respond. He has however been busy fishing and at 5:23pm lands with a large whole catch which Blue 44 wrestles enthusiastically from his grasp. The meal is big enough to keep him occupied for the remainder of the afternoon and evening but he departs leaving it on the nest to return to later. Once he has left, the eyrie comes to life with a family of coal tits that reside in the nearby foliage as they flit about inspecting from edge to edge.
Laddie returns at 6:55pm and lands directly upon the leftover fish. He wastes no time in removing it and takes flight before Blue 44 has an opportunity to reclaim it. Just half an hour Laddie is back on the nest but could not possibly have finished the fish in that short space of time, having either deposited it at his feeding perch or redistributed it to Blue 44 at an alternative location but there was far too great a remnant to have fully consumed. He picks and pecks, locating pieces of discarded fish and repositions a long stick which has caught his eye and required attention.
Friday, 17th August
Following another night of adverse weather Blue 44 is on the nest at 6:17am. He calls to Laddie in the hope that breakfast will soon be forthcoming but departs a few minutes later. At 7:17am he is back and waiting in the pouring rain as Laddie delivers a large headless trout. Occupying a large part of the morning, he sits upon Lady’s perch stretching and flapping to dispel the rainwater gathering on his wings. At times moving down to pick at the nest bed while he waits until he has eventually had enough and departs to take shelter. At 11:10am Laddie arrives and locates a remnant of the breakfast, eating for a few minutes then departing with the straggly remains dangling from his feet.
At 5:36pm Laddie presents with a very lively offering which, when grabbed from his foothold by Blue 44 escapes and flaps around the nest bed. However, Blue 44 has not noticed this and once again, retains tight hold of Laddie’s foot in his razor sharp beak having bitten into what he thought was the flesh of the fish. Laddie struggles and hops as he is dragged across the nest and only when Blue 44 spots the flapping fish does he release his bite. Laddie immediately takes flight to nurse his bruised and battered foot for a second time. OUCH! No-one said that raising a chick would be an easy task. Perhaps this latest episode will determine the level of food he now delivers to the nest.
None the worse for his injury, Laddie drops by the empty nest at 6:34pm looking for any scraps that may remain. Blue 44 has seen his arrival and, thinking he has another meal, comes flying in begging. Laddie does not wait around and swiftly departs leaving Blue 44 on the nest for over an hour continuing to call.
Saturday, 18th August
It’s a dull start to the day as Blue 44 lands on the nest at 6:20am just in time to greet Laddie who has brought in breakfast. Grabbing the headless meal he moves across to the edge while Laddie stands watching and pecking around before leaving a few minutes later. Junior stays for a quarter of an hour locked deep in concentration as he eats then takes flight carrying the remains with him. At 7:45am Laddie is back and looking for the leftovers but with none to be found he beats a hasty retreat. Later in the morning an intruder makes its presence known and circles above the nest where Blue 44 currently stands. He carefully watches above and around him but remains silent until all potential threat has passed. Once gone, the nest receives a visit from the redstarts that occupy the nearby foliage as they peck around and check for any oddments of food that may be available to them.
It is a brighter afternoon than of late though still windy and Blue 44 lands on the nest at 1:15pm calling vociferously. It is not until 2:50pm that he is rewarded with an afternoon treat when dad brings in a headless meal leaving it with him. He feasts upon it for almost fifty minutes before departing with the stringy remains to finish elsewhere. It is nice to see Laddie busying himself with nest maintenance late in the afternoon as he moves sticks about in the bright sunshine looking quite content with himself.
As the evening draws in, Laddie continues to deliver sticks and carry out nest maintenance though on seeing him land junior comes in to check if he has anything edible for him. On establishing that he does not, Laddie departs leaving Blue 44 to carry out a few light nest duties of his own as he moves a small but awkward branch around until he is satisfied it is no longer in his way. However, at 8:30pm Laddie does drop in with a suppertime treat leaving him to deal with it appropriately. He eats upon the nest for almost an hour and by the time he has concluded his meal darkness has taken over and he has been joined by the nightly moths that flit about. Earlier today he was witnessed across the loch with what was believed to be another of his own catches. Striving hard and fast to make the grade, he is doing incredibly well in the process and with his little adventure on first fledging now firmly behind him he is proving to be a most capable and remarkable young osprey.
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.