The main nest pair of ospreys, SS and AS6, are enjoying a stress free summer without offspring to rear. They have held the territory without any drama, spending their time at the eyrie eating and preening their feathers. AS6 is still quite a demanding partner when it comes to food though and her shrill cries when she is hungry seems to fall on deaf ears, as SS doesn’t react but merely sits on until he flies off to fish when he feels that he wants to.
They have established a closer bond having been given this extra time to cement the relationship without the pressure of rearing young and can often be seen sitting together on the perch above the nest, sometimes both of them eating together.
An intruder osprey visits
On Saturday the male SS was sharing the left over portion of fish that AS6 was eating and they seemed very contented. Later their blissfulness was disrupted by the arrival of an intruder osprey that cheekily flew down into the nest. She was a blue ringed bird and the volunteer on duty managed to get a few photos from the live streaming. The lettering on the blue ring was not seen clearly enough but could possibly have been ES2 or FS2. We will try to get a clearer image and find out if this is the correct number and who this snoopy osprey is and where she has come from. The resident female stayed up on the perch while SS dealt with the situation by flying down into the nest and mantling his wings, posturing in a way to make the intruder certain that she was quite unwelcome.
Back-up birds are ringed and tagged
The back–up nest birds have had an eventful week as a team of experts from Forestry Commission Scotland, under conditions of the permitted licence, carried out the ringing of the nestlings and fitted them with satellite tagging devices. Both chicks are thought to be male even though one is much larger than the other. There was a few days between them at hatching stage and the oldest chick is clearly very well developed and a magnificent bird.
The satellite tagging devices are different to ones used previously: the aerial for the satellite is internal and therefore cannot be seen sticking up out of the back of the bird like the one which FK8 currently has. It makes for a more streamlined little back pack for the birds to carry and they were fitted just like a rucksack with Teflon tapes then sewn together to hold it in place and prevent it from falling off.
They are solar powered and will last up to four years hopefully before the batteries are spent and the cotton stitching falls away to release the tag from the bird. The data that the devices send back will mean we can follow their every movement once they fledge and keep tabs on their lives should they be lucky enough to survive. The time span will allow for us to gain information about where the birds migrate to and where they settle before returning to the UK to explore, eventually taking up territories of their own and becoming part of the breeding population of ospreys in the future.
Gruesome dinner habits
The young buzzards are often seen flying over Glentress now they have successfully fledged and they pop back to the nest for an occasional feed which is brought in by mum or dad. We have superb footage of their family life at the centre at Glentress Wildwatch room and many clips of their antics at the nest and in particular the gruesome feeding times. The latest footage revealed the adult bird arrive onto the empty nest with a dead vole and within moments two greedy and hungry fledglings swooped down into the nest to take the prey. The most aggressive of the two, seized it and mantled its wings, to block its sibling from having any and proceeded to devour the vole in great torn off chunks.
More wildlife and things to see
More otter and fox antics can be seen at Kailzie Osprey and Nature Watch Centre which have been filmed on the motion activated camera, with a brief appearance of a stoat running up the tree.
The whole of the Glentress site is swathed in glorious wildflowers at the moment which is good news for the newly installed bee hive. It can be watched as the bees come in to the indoor viewing hive laden with pollen. The flowers are attracting many butterflies and day flying moth species too, such as cinnabar moth and common blue butterflies.