Weekly Summary – Sunday 27th May
Good morning all,
I guess that most of the visitors to Lowes last week have now returned home and are settling back into daily routines. I had an amazing time and am counting down the days until the next get-together. A huge thank you to all who attended and those that stayed throughout the week as we met up each day to enjoy the atmosphere and celebrations surrounding the hatching of the new chick. It would be lovely to see another, however, if that is not to be then this very lucky little guy/girl will be the best-fed and tended to chick in the vicinity. It may be that another chick arriving at this point would not have as good a chance of survival with such an older sibling to fight for the food and attention but who knows, time will tell and the eggs are still within the normal hatching limits!
Many thanks to John Monks for his contribution to the post this week, his nights on Osprey Watch have provided a wealth of information that would otherwise have been either lost or not witnessed and I can only say that I hope you are able to undertake the watch on a more permanent basis next season as you would wish.
Now to the weekly summary for those that may have missed a day or two or those like myself, that simply enjoy a recount of nest comings and goings.
© Screenshot pictures copyright Scottish Wildlife Trust
Sunday, 20th May
During the night Lady has stirred only to check and reposition the eggs. She takes a quick comfort break at 7:00am but no movement is yet witnessed from beneath her. She preens, pecks at the twigs around her and sits quietly for some time taking in the sounds of the loch as it comes to life for its daily routine. Just before 8:00am she is aware of something in the airspace above her and watches it intently before commencing calling. Laddie arrives with a rather sizeable meal and after taking a bite or two she departs with it allowing him to settle into incubation duty and tidy around himself as he does so. At 9.45am he takes a quick break and is back within the minute, settling down where he remains until Lady returns at 10:35am. Web viewers are treated to a close-up of the eggs as she turns them before she finally recommences incubation but no signs of hatching are yet visible.
It is a warm afternoon and Lady pants to cool down. The sun is beating down upon the nest and swathes her in the warmth of its sunshine, something there has been little of recently. Laddie pays an early afternoon visit and spends a while with her, preening as she incubates. She spends a large amount of the afternoon inspecting, rotating and listening to the eggs and at 3:00pm Laddie has secured a fresh catch and delivers to her a fish in its entirety. He takes over incubation as she retrieves it from him however, she returns within five minutes without the fish and could therefore only have had enough time to stow it in her cache for when later required. An hour later, he is back with another meal which once again, she readily accepts and takes away leaving him in charge of the nest until 5:25pm.
As early evening draws in she takes the opportunity to carry out a few light household duties and becomes entangled around a large branch that Laddie has previously deposited as she attempts to move it away. By 10:20pm she has eventually settled and bedded down for her long overnight incubation.
Monday, 21st May
Just after midnight Lady is turning the eggs and appears a little restless through the early hours. She repositions herself and continues to check them at regular intervals. Laddie delivers breakfast at 7:00am which she retrieves and takes away to consume in private leaving him on incubation duty. One of the eggs is now beginning to show signs of pipping as the chick within commences its slow journey to the outside world by way of chipping through the shell with its specially formed egg tooth. Lady returns at 9:00am and during changeover the camera zooms in to provide a clear view of the hole now forming within the shell. Hatching can take anything up to twenty four hours so it is possible the chick has a long and hard task ahead as yet.
Lady continues to check the hatching egg throughout the afternoon, together with turning the remaining two. Laddie delivers lunch at 1:55pm but she takes pieces from it as she remains on the nest, not leaving until 2:20pm when she takes a twenty five minute break leaving Laddie once again in charge. An intruder has made its presence known during the afternoon and comes a little too close to the nest but as she alarm calls and mantles defensively, Laddie appears. She constantly listens to the egg and checks it as the breaking hole increases in size and the chick becomes visible beneath the soft but firm membrane.
As early evening approaches Laddie arrives with soft fresh nesting material and just before 7:00pm it is apparent that the chick is almost out from the shell and at 7:12pm precisely The Loch of The Lowes welcome its first Osprey chick of 2012; a feat in itself considering the atrocious weather conditions that the birds have endured since the eggs were laid. Lady is now aware of her newly hatched chick and attempts to remove the shell to the outer edge of the nest. At 9:40pm Laddie excels himself and arrives at the nest with a fish however, not knowing quite what to do he retreats with it but whatever he decides, there will be enough to feed his new family. By 10:00pm Lady has tucked the new chick beneath her brood patch and settled down for the long night ahead. Goodnight Lady and little chick!
Tuesday, 22nd May
Lady has kept her new chick safe and warm through the night. She has managed to sleep a little but has remained alert and continued to tend the two remaining eggs. As dawn breaks across the loch the little chick is awake and bobbing about unsteadily. At 5:07am Laddie arrives with breakfast but she sits tight not wanting to leave the nest and its new occupant. At 6:20am she stands, providing the web viewers with a sighting of the chick as it lies upon its back and repositions it in order to place a tiny morsel of food into its mouth as Laddie stands beside her looking on. He returns later in the morning and spends a little more time with Lady and the chick as she continues to feed it from the piece of fish that remains in the nest, at one point a morsel becoming attached to its beak and Lady trying hard to remove it and place it inside the mouth of the little one. She picks any remaining morsels of fish that are lying in the nest and takes them for herself, ensuring the nest does not become contaminated with leftover and uneaten food. Laddie continues to carry out his nest building duties, bringing in a large stick and placing it around the structure. He will now ensure that the nest sides are securely built-up thereby creating a safe wall to surround the chick once it begins to move around.
It is a scorching afternoon and Lady pants to cool down. She shields the chick from the sweltering sun with her outstretched wings and continues to incubate her two remaining eggs. Another meal is delivered at 12:50pm and she takes the opportunity to have a short break. She will not spend much time away from the nest at this point and will leave only for toilet breaks and swift wing-stretches. She returns to the nest bowl to provide protection to her new chick and un-hatched eggs. Just before 2:00pm peace around the nest is disturbed by an intruder osprey and Laddie is alerted to Lady’s alarm calls. He gives chase as the interloper lands directly upon the nest and Lady mantles defensively, protecting her new chick with every ounce of her being. The intruder leaves the nest site but remains around the area as Laddie watches intently from his nearby perch across the loch where he has an excellent vantage point from almost every angle. Once Laddie is content that the intruder has left the area he takes off behind the trees and in the direction of Craig Lush Loch where a short while later he returns with yet another large fish. He is definitely doing well today having secured three fish at this mid-afternoon point, and leaves the meal in the capable charge of mum and her new chick. During the late afternoon Laddie returns and removes the fish from the nest, flying away with it to one of his favoured eating perches.
As evening draws in, Lady takes a quick break but returns to the nest moments later. Laddie makes his usual evening visit at around 7:45pm ensuring that all well with mother and chick. He makes another visit at 9:30pm and leaves them to settle in the cool stillness of the night. The chick has been well fed today with the freshest of fish from three catches and the nest occupants can fall asleep fully sated. Goodnight Lady and little chick!
Wednesday, 23rd May
Lady is awake just after 4:00am and tending to the chick as Laddie arrives at 4:18am carrying with him a pike but fails to leave it and flies away. At 5:35am he returns although on this occasion, delivering a trout which she delicately tears pieces from and feeds small morsels to the chick, retaining a piece in the nest to use as and when the chick requires further feeding. The chick will receive all of its moisture from the fish and it is important that during the searing heat of the days ahead it does not become dehydrated. The loch awakens with the sounds of its resident geese which currently have small broods of goslings to tend. The Great Crested Grebes perform their pair-bonding display and the Woodpeckers flit around the hides and across the water. At 7:15am a Roe Deer is sighted near the stream across the water with an osprey landing close-by a few minutes later but leaving immediately. Ten minutes later two ospreys are sighted above the nest, one heading in the direction of Craig Lush and the other toward the golf course. Laddie lands upon the nest and retrieves the fish brought in earlier, taking it away and heading in a westerly direction. He returns fifteen minutes later, landing with and transferring the fish to Lady, though remains upon the nest for five or so minutes before taking flight to one of his nearby perches. At 8:30am the sun is beating down upon the nest and Lady shields the chick, settling down to continue to incubate the two remaining eggs. The chick receives another meal just prior to 9:00am and Lady takes a brief toilet break. Laddie is still upon his perch in the Scot’s Pine across the loch, leaving for a toilet break, arrives and scoops up the leftover fish that remains within the nest. During the late morning he arrives with another fish but it is uncertain as to whether this is a fresh catch or the remnants from the meal delivered earlier. He remains upon the nest and eats for a while as Lady feeds the chick before taking a quick toilet break.
It is a hot afternoon and the nest continues to bake in the sweltering sunshine as Lady shelters the chick by spreading out her wings. The loch and its residents are still active and many visitors to The Loch of The Lowes are enjoying the pictures and video footage of the new chick being replayed in the visitor centre. At 1:30pm Lady feeds the chick, giving herself the opportunity to preen a little. At 3:40pm Laddie brings yet another piece of fish into the nest, he is certainly doing his best to provide for his family and the little chick is not going hungry by any means. At 5:15pm the chick is receiving further nourishment as both parents occupy the nest.
As evening draws in Laddie visits but spends only a few minutes as Lady busies herself tidying up the fish remnants from within the nest bedding. She checks the chick and remaining eggs then settles back down as darkness descends. She will remain upon the nest now for the majority of time, taking only the briefest of toilet breaks which will consist of a swift flight over the trees to ensure cleanliness of the nest. Laddie will continue to provide all meals for her and his growing family and will, on occasions, eat at the nest himself.
Thursday, 24th May
Lady has slept soundly with the little chick sheltered safely beneath her. At 4:15am she departs the nest briefly for a quick comfort break. She will venture no further than a circuit of the trees in the direction of the hides and return immediately to provide protection to her young chick and un-hatched eggs. It is a still, and as yet, misty morning around the loch and Laddie arrives at 5:30am with breakfast for his family. As she continues to rotate the eggs and tend to the new chick, she ensures her razor-sharp talons and beak are used in a way that will cause them no damage. At 8:03am another fish delivery is made and Lady tenderly feeds the chick as Laddie leaves the nest. It is receiving small morsels on a regular basis. Laddie goes in search of nesting materials and returns a while later with a large stick which he attempts to place into position but Lady removes it and replaces it at the far edge of the nest away from the chick.
It is a sweltering afternoon once again and the loch is alive with activity. The Crested Grebes celebrating their courtship dance and the resident family of Canada Geese gliding across on the far bank. Lady feeds the chick on a regular basis with increasing fish deliveries being made throughout the day. It is of course possible that some of the deliveries witnessed have been removed from a cache or supply put aside for later use, but as long as mother bird and chick are being adequately catered for then that is all that matters at this time. At 1:10pm a headless fish is brought onto the nest so Laddie has no doubt already taken his important portion. Lady uses the opportunity to take a comfort break and briefly leaves the nest, returning moments later. Both birds are in occupation of the nest at 3:30pm and contentedly preening as the camera intermittently zooms in to check the condition of the two remaining eggs which currently show no signs of pipping.
Tranquility around the loch is briefly disturbed during the late afternoon when a small plane is heard and sighted in the airspace over the nest site although flies over and away from the loch and is not seen to visibly affect the birds. Laddie remains on his favoured perch in a tree directly across from the hides where he has a prime visual aspect of all around. At about 4:45pm he is back in with a freshly caught pike to add to his day’s list of catches and sits for some while upon the nest with Lady and their chick as it is being fed. Just after 6:00pm an intruder is spotted in the vicinity and as Lady mantles protectively, Laddie’s alarm calls are sufficient to evict it from around the nest site. The loch and its residents begin to wind down for the evening and Lady settles herself in preparation for overnight incubation and chick protection.
Friday, 25th May
During the long night Lady has rested and taken time to preen between tending the eggs and the growing chick. Laddie makes his first visit of the day at 4:18am affording her the opportunity to leave the nest for a swift comfort break then departs upon her return a few moments later. At 5:10am breakfast is delivered in the form of a brown trout and all is well for the time-being. At 6:25am he lands upon the nest but leaves seconds later heading in the direction of Craig Lush, returning a minute later with a large stick which he proceeds to place to the right of the nest. Lady rises to stretch her wings, allowing a view of their healthy looking four day old chick. As each day passes it is becoming visibly stronger and seems more easily able to hold its head steady for the purpose of taking food from its mother. Laddie is sighted perched on one of his favoured trees, the Scot’s Pine across from the hides, and spies the glint of a silver streak beneath the surface of the calm and still water. He takes a dive towards the water but is unsuccessful on this attempt, taking off once again in the direction of Craig Lush just behind the trees. At 7:38am he is spotted carrying a large pike though flies over the nest and disappears into the early morning mist. It is likely that he will be consuming his portion, that being the head, before delivering the body of the fish to the nest. Lady has also witnessed his arrival and begins contact calling and at 8:00 he lands upon the nest with the headless fish. He is certainly undertaking his role as provider with incredible efficiency, ensuring his family are well fed.
The afternoon commences with a fish delivery at 12:45pm as Lady takes a little for herself before feeding the chick. At 2:07pm both birds occupy the nest, at one point taking flight together, Lady, for a toilet break across the trees and Laddie possibly in search of a fish as he returns at 3:45pm with a sizeable meal and transfers it to the nest for Lady and the chick. By 5:15pm the visible remains have caught his attention and as he lands he scoops it up and takes flight again. Mother and chick have indeed been well fed today and she has continued to check and rotate the remaining eggs at regular intervals. Laddie, although not noticeably spending much time upon the nest has been within striking distance at all times, appearing from around the trees to protect and defend at the first sign of an intruder or an alarm call. He makes a late visit at 10:00pm to check all is satisfactory and retires for the night to his favoured sleeping quarters in preparation for another busy ahead.
Saturday, 26th Nestcap.FISH DELIVERY 4 1:07AM and Lady is preening and with wings outstretched she is protecting her chick and eggs from the elements (her backside is towards the camera). She keeps rocking sideways on her charges. 6.03 Lad brought a fish while Lady was off the nest, she has made several short trips, leaving Rocket for a minute or two at a time. Lady took the fish and began to feed herself and the chick. Then some close ups of the eggs, and Lady stopped feeding, before I thought she would. Chick would have eaten more when Lady covered it up and tidied up the area. Large amount of fish left. When she started to feed, and brought fish to egg cup, she conked the baby, covering it with the fish tail, but the chick squirmed out from under and proceeded to solicit food. Very cute. 6.11 Lady is back on the chick and eggs, facing approx 9 o’clock, and dozing. I am going night night, so you all have a lovely day, hope the 2nd egg hatches out today. 07.10 – Lady sits on her nest looking out over the loch. 07.25 – Another large fish delivery. Lady takes it from Laddie, straight away feeding Rocket. Laddie looks on at the proceedings.
07.29 After watching for a while he flies off over the loch. Chick is getting much bigger, although it’s not surprising the amount of fish it’s tucking into. 07.38 A piece of moss clings to Lady’s beak. After a few efforts to shake it off she gives up and eats it. Then settles down on the nest. 8:12 Laddie lands and retrieves fish already on the nest. Takes away in his beak to eat some for himself. May possibly return with same remnant for Lady and chick at some point. 08.22 Lady has been sitting preening on the edge of the nest in the sunshine. Now Laddie appears, and poses at the back. He has fish in his claw and eats 08.24 Lovely view of Lady on the nest preening and the little one looks like he/she has wrapped itself round on of the eggs basking in wonderful sunshine. 08.24 Lady muscles her way in and takes the fish. He looks bemused. 08.25 Lady feeds chick and Laddie looks on and then leaves 08.33 – Lady feeding Rocket again. 8.33 Feed finished and Lady strides around housekeeping and snacking and at last sits down o9.08 She’s up and preening again. The camera has zoomed in close on the eggs but I don’t think they see anything. It’s impossible for us to tell as the picture is rather poor. Lady has a bite to eat. 09.11 Baby has noticed and sits up and he tries to crawl up the slope to get at the fish but ends up on his face. Lady feeds him. 09.12 Laddie has returned. 09.17 Just logged on to Lowes to see a large piece of fish between talons and young chick in nest – growing fast 09.20 Lady sits down. The camera is still in close up and so I don’t know if Laddie is still there 09.28 LADY SETTLED ON CHICK AND EGGS 10.19 LADY FEEDING CHICK AND LADDIE ON SIDE OF NEST
WHEN I LOGGED ON JUST NOW SAW LADY TAKING FISH FROM LADDIE, SO MAYBE A FISH DELIVERY? 10.21 LADDIE HAS NOW LEFT THE NEST – CHICK STILL BEING FED 10.55 – There a fly on Rockets back, yuk.
10.58 – Camera panned on an egg with a bit of feather/down stuck in a groove on the egg. Is this the start of a crack or just wishful thinking.
11.01 – PESCY FLY IS ALL OVER THE EGGS AND ROCKET. 11.05 LOVELY CLOSE UP OF CHICK 11.08 – lovely closeups of our little chap – sitting in the sunshine with his mouth open, ready for some fish! He’s grown so much in 5 days! 11.13 Feeding again 11.16 That was a very quick feed as she’s sitting again. (Lady?) 11.18 She’s off the nest cup again and baby flops about until she sits again and shuffles into position. 12.50 Lady is sitting quietly on the nest now shielding the eggs and little Rocket – she looks so serene and beautiful there! 13.00 It does look hot at the loch 12.14 – Lady giving Rocket another feed from a stashed fish – I didn’t see Laddie come in so I’m assuming she saved it from the last time. 13.27 – Laddie arrives back on the nest. They have a little chat – I don’t think he brought anything with him this time.
13.29 – Lady gets up off the eggs and Rocket’s head is straight up – he’s still cuddling one of the eggs lol so cute. 13.34 I think Laddie flew off during the close-up – can’t see him now, just Lady’s feet and her shadow over the eggs. 13.46 I think our little Rocket is going to be a quick learner! I just saw him do that beak digging thing and wriggling to get comfy lol Close up of the eggs again. 14.00 – Camera in too close to see properly but I think Laddie just landed on the nest as I saw another shadow joing Lady’s. Can’t see if a fish was brought in as the close up is still on Rocket!!! 14.02 – YES A FISH DELIVERY! Lady eating bits herself and passing bits to Rocket who is eagerly waiting open-mouthed! 14.03 – Lady with a fresh looking fish, too late to see if Laddie brought it in. Feeding Rocket now. I can see Laddie on the nest so think it’s a fresh catch. 14.03 – Lady with a fresh looking fish, too late to see if Laddie brought it in. Feeding Rocket now. I can see Laddie on the nest so think it’s a fresh catch.14.15 – Lady still feeding Rocket with proud daddy looking on. 14.05 Laddie standing nearby but still off-cam apart from the tip of his tail! Looks like he is moving sticks around. ….. Can’t see him at all now, just Lady feeding chickie. 14.15 – Lady still feeding Rocket with proud daddy looking on. 14.15 LADY FED CHICK A LARGE BIT – MAYBE A BIT TOO LARGE, BUT WHEN SHE TRIED TO GET IT BACK, CHICK MOVED HEAD AWAY AND GULPED IT DOWN! 14.23 – Rocket flat out after being stuffed I gather 14 23 I think both birds were on the nest when I looked in, but Laddie, presumably, flew off. Camera is zoomed very close 14 28 She pecks around baby and sits down. Judging by the noise coming from the speakers it is windy there. 14 45 I think he took away the leftover fish with him!! 15 39 Think the sun is getting to the cam 14 45 Not a lot happening on the nest then? No developments on the second egg. Looks and sounds a bit windy up there too so that will mean the eggs won’t get too baked. We don’t want boiled eggs in the egg cup! lol 16.35 LADDIE BACK AT NEST – CAN’T SEE IF HE HAS A FISH LADY NOT MOVING 16.36 SHE IS NOW AND YES HE HAS BROUGHT BACK A LARGE FISH 16.37 CHICK FALLEN ON BACK 16.38 A BIT OF A STRUGGLE BUT MADE IT! UP THE RIGHT WAY NOW 16.39 LADY MOVING ROUND WITH THE FISH, DIFFICULT TO SEE MUCH AS PICTURE KEEPS GOING FULL OF LINES, BUT LOOKS A VERY LARGE FISH 16.41 CHICK BEING FED 17.04 A mammoth feeding session just about finished and I think Lady ate a lot herself. What kind of fish was it, someone, please? The markings were very distinctive 17 06 Lady settles down again. 17 07 She’s still snacking, 17 17 Looked like a blue trout Erica x 17-41 Lady sitting comfortably on the eggs and Rocket. 18-25, Lady standing and preening. 18.45 – Laddie here with largish fish – Lady shouting for it but so far Laddie is holding on to it 18-44, FISH DELIVERY! Laddie lands with fish, Lady flat out over eggs and Rocket. 18-45, He is still standing there with the fish, but looking around. Maybe something disturbing them? 18-47, Lady not interested. 18- 49-, Lady up and over to collect the fish. and eating. Laddie watching and looking at his baby. 18.52 – Lady has the fish now and is feeding Rocket and herself while Laddie stands guard 18-56, Lady feeding Rocket. 19.59 Marge gets up and starts feeding the large leftover fish that was lying beside her.
19.59 Laddie lands obviously hoping to take the leftover fish!!
20.00 He flies off again when he realises he can’t!.
20.09 Feeding over and Marge flies off for a comfort break and back again.
20.11 Here he comes!! Laddie arrives and flies off with the remains of the fish – there’s still lots left. 20.20 – Lady seems settled down now 20.38 Laddie has just landed on the nest edge with a bit of fish. Lady is looking down, and it looks like she’s listening hard to something! Laddie is eating the fish, in between cheeping to Lady. 20.49 After a goodbye ‘cheep’ Laddie flies off again.
22.17 – Both adults on the nest
22.20 – Laddie flies away and Lady settles down
00.19 – Lady got up for a good old wing flap before getting comfy again.
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.