The adult ospreys at the main nest have remained together since the tragic loss of their little chick last week. We have witnessed scenes of pair bonding which is encouraging as the couple cope with a summer without a family. The female is incredibly demanding and very vocal when she is hungry. Even though the male is not obligated any longer because there are no young to feed, he is continuing to provide for her. Not surprising though, as she creates such a racket that it seems the only way to quieten her is to give her some fish.
He has reverted back to his old practices of eating the head first and letting her have the rest. She snatches it from him as eagerly as a young nestling and takes it up to the perch to feed herself. The good thing is that he then sits next to her while she feeds. This is evidence that the bond has remained strong between them, so hopefully they will hold the territory together and try again next year.
Back-up nest chicks
The ‘back-up’ nest pair of ospreys are doing very well and we now have the recorded footage taken so far this summer, which reveals that they have two healthy chicks in the nest. The recordings have shown that the male bird is yellow leg 8C and he is with his new mate, an unringed female.
There is a considerable size difference between the two chicks. One appears to be as much as five days older than the other chick judging by the size and the covering of feathers. The recording for the 5th June shows a very young osprey still covered in white down with the sibling almost double the size, with a covering of grey down and with feathering coming through. Since that date the chicks have grown well and the smallest chick is now a good size. It is still smaller than the other nestling, but the size difference is not quite as obvious as when they were younger. The film footage can be seen at both osprey centres at Glentress and Kailzie Gardens.
FK8 up north
It is good to find out that the male bird is 8C and although he lost his partner last year, he has managed to hold onto the territory and find a new partner, the unringed female. His daughter, FK8, is still amazing us with her travels in the north of Scotland which we know from the data we receive from her satellite transmitter. She has certainly taken a liking to the north east of Scotland and is still ranging across the land exploring lochs and forest plantations.
Buzzard tea party
The buzzard nest at Glentress has three big healthy chicks. They were ringed by Eve Schulte from Forestry Commission Scotland, during an event held by Eve, Tony Lightley and Ronnie Graham. Volunteers for the osprey project and guests were invited to come along and see the buzzard chicks fitted with their identity rings. It was a special treat to see these beautiful young birds up close.
Each chick had a metal BTO leg ring with a unique identity number fitted. They were not fitted with coloured Darvic rings so cannot be identified at a distance, but at the end of the birds lifetime, should the carcass be discovered, it is traceable to where it fledged from. This record is useful to gain data for the dispersal of the species and individuals longevity. The buzzard nest is currently live on camera at Glentress and they are interesting to watch as they deal with prey items brought in by mum such as a mouse and a toad. They are wing flapping and getting ready to fledge. Sometimes it seems that it is more difficult to stay in the nest than to take flight as they teeter around the overcrowded space trying not to get blown over the edge.
Kailzie night shift
We have been taking recordings from a trail camera in the grounds of Kailzie Estate and adding the footage to the screens at the osprey centre. This has resulted in some great footage as the night shift animals captured by the motion activated camera are lovely to watch. We have enjoyed the antics of foxes taking advantage of fish scraps from the fishery, otters sneaking along the trails and a trundling badger. The latest film clip showed the madcap antics of a family of four stoats wreaking havoc near to a wren nest, as the tiny angry bird hails her protest at the roguish marauders.
Watch the latest footage