A very mixed day of action with no midges but quite a strong and chilly wind.
We arrived to find the characteristic view of our osprey family on Nest 1 with the female on the camera pole, HO in the nest and the male on what has become his favourite tree, to the left of the nest. This became the consistent view of the day interspersed with flapping practice from our young ‘un, ringed as HO, including jumps and runs at the end of the nest as well as lying down to rest in the middle of the nest after the excitement.
We did not see any fish deliveries today but suspect that an early fish had been consumed as the female did not start berating the male until 12:40 when we would have expected another fish delivery. We are not sure whether she can see him from the nest but he stuck to his favourite spot during this scolding – at worst a cunning plan from him and at best he is encouraging HO to fly – but we think that may be a few days off yet as the aerial flapping is not very high yet.
An exciting few minutes began at 13.15 when we saw the male showing HO how to do it, as he was flying slowly and deliberately around the trees to the right for some time – almost a demonstration of flying – when he possibly entered corvid territory to the right. For over 2 minutes we watched incredulously as 4 crows/ravens attacked him and a long spat ensured with our osprey defending himself as one particularly persistent corvid mounted a full on attack that lasted over 2 minutes. It was quite a sight to behold with much swooping and soaring, but it also gave us a few moments of concern as he disappeared for some time after this. Happily, he returned eventually to the nest none the worse. Whilst this was going on the female showed signs of alarm and kept close to the chick for a while – always alert.
The rain started at 15.45 (as predicted by the Met Office) and we were sheltering at this point when we saw an osprey flying around the lake which caused great excitement among the volunteers who had a good view – unfortunately few of the visitors saw this.
At 16.00 the weather really started to break up with a few mini dry spells in between however by 16.40 the fieldscopes were getting soaked so we packed up as the rain really started to throw it down.
We received 120 visitors today – many who had returned a second time to see the ospreys.
During the quieter spells there was other wildlife to observe; the usual almost tame chaffinches around the viewpoint, rabbits on the grass, oystercatchers on buoys and also a female mallard and a flotilla of chicks. How many will still be around in a couple of days?
Dave, Joanna and Joyce