The main nest birds are still very much together and are occupying their eyrie regularly. We did wonder if they may drift apart and stay absent from the nest site since losing their family but it is a very good sign that they are still there and holding the territory together.
The behaviour of the female bird AS6 is almost like that of a young bird begging for food from a parent rather than from a partner. She is so vocal and demanding, continuing persistently until SS flies off and goes fishing. We have not seen her bring fish into the nest alone, but we see her eating and SS sitting close by and have made the assumption that he is still giving the fish to her.
A red squirrel visit
Both birds were relaxing on the nest on Sunday when a surprise visitor popped up. A little red squirrel hopped onto the side of the nest and began to run around. The ospreys seemed oblivious to this at first, but as the little squirrel’s antics escalated to running up the side branch and swinging about, their attention was caught. The squirrel then ran around to the front of the nest and into the dense pine needles, watched by two pairs of curious yellow osprey eyes.
Some good news in Stirlingshire
Earlier this spring we received news that a Tweed Valley osprey, one of the birds from the main nest reared in 2007 by white leg SS and his original partner, has found a mate and was nesting in Stirlingshire. We received an update of news this week to say that the season had been successful and that they have reared three male chicks which have been ringed by the RSPB.
Back-up nest update
The Tweed Valley ‘back-up’ nest birds are thriving and the recorded footage which we are collecting is most revealing about their family life. It seems that yellow 8C spends very little time at the nest and merely delivers the fish, taking off immediately. We know that he doesn’t go far and is ever watchful and alert but it is his strategy to deliver fish and then sit as guard at close quarters and not involve himself in the domestic feeding scenes. The female bird is a most attentive mother and even though the young ospreys are well covered by true feathers, she has still stretched herself over them during some heavy downpours of rain to shield them.
They are clearly enjoying a bountiful supply of fish and she has been seen feeding the young chicks and still offering them food long after the point when they have had enough. Their crops were bulging full of food and they were looking sleepy eyed and ready to rest but mum was still seen offering little titbits of fish.
She is mostly always present on the nest with her young, even when the camera shows only the chicks in the nest. As clouds sweep by allowing the sun to appear, a large shadow of mum sitting on the perch above the chicks can be seen cast onto the nest. Each time she leaves the nest she stares straight into the camera as she flies straight at it onto the camera pole which has become her favourite perch, directly above her family. It provides a great view for us on film too!
When they are not being fed, the chicks spend their time preening, stretching, resting and then wing flapping. Sometimes they appear so relaxed that they don’t bother to stand up for a stretch and just push out a wing across the nest. We can see that the shaft of their flight feathers is almost broken all the way down, releasing their newly created full feathers. This means they are almost ready for flight.
All of the back-up nest film recordings have been added to the screen at Glentress Wildwatch and Kailzie Osprey & Nature Watch Centre for visitors to be able to watch the family.
FK8 happy up north
FK8 is still enjoying her time in the north of Scotland. She travelled down to the Firth of Durnoch between the 6th and 9th July and explored the area of estuary and over to Skibo castle lochs. She then headed back up north to her favourite area around the lochs near to Halkirk.
Eve Schulte talks to Friends of Kailzie Wildlife
Friends of Kailzie Wildlife were treated to an inspiring talk at the Osprey and Nature Watch centre at Kailzie Gardens by Forestry Commission Conservation and Heritage Manager Eve Schulte on Sunday. Eve’s enthusiasm talking about what her job entails was inspiring and it was fascinating to hear all about her work: monitoring species, ringing raptors and checking all the forest areas prior to harvesting works, licensing, habitat creation and so much more.
Buzzards all ready to go
All three buzzards have now fledged successfully and have been filmed at their nest for the last month which can be seen when there is a volunteer on duty at Glentress Wildwatch.
Watch the new footage