A test for Blue 6H?

Blue 6H faced a test on Friday morning, it seemed. It was a normal day when the nestcam stream started. Mrs YA was fleetingly on the nest, Blue 6H did a bit of flapping but mostly sat, preened or had a walk and moved a bit of nest furniture. About 10.00 we saw a lot of wing flapping, hurrah! But then more sitting and preening. Both adults were in trees nearby. After a while YA landed and stayed for a short time before flying off towards the reservoir. Fishing time? Mrs YA came down a few minutes later, messed around arranging bark and sticks then sat down on the chick! Or rather her rear half straddled it, and it didn’t seem thrilled.

Then the really interesting part of the morning came. YA landed about 11.10 with a whole fish. It was dead, but the head was still on. Was this a test for Blue 6H, who has snacked very well on the bottom two thirds of fish over previous days? Mrs YA was visible in a tree but despite some wing flaps and shouting by Blue 6H after YA left she didn’t descend to the nest. The youngster inspected the offering then spent a couple of minutes or so in strenuous wing exercising with some hops, shouting and general attention seeking. Or so it seemed. It tried to nibble at the fish head, mantled over the fish, exercised again…. then got really stuck in. It started to make inroads and after about 10 minutes Mrs YA came and had a look. Blue 6H just carried on eating. Mrs YA left. After another 10 minutes or so the progress was very clear, with the head completely devoured and some large morsels being consumed. Well done Blue 6H, another step on the road to independence!

Words can’t really capture well enough what happened so there is a (very jerky in parts) 7 minute video here showing the first few minutes in full, then a few highlights of Blue 6H dealing with the challenge.

If that is too much, here are some images from the morning!

Mrs YA appears to sit on Blue 6H! (c) Forestry Commission England

Get off, mum!
(c) Forestry Commission England

YA brings a whole fish to the nest (c) Forestry Commission England

YA brings a whole fish to the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 6H struggles to get going with a whole fish (c) Forestry Commission England

Blue 6H struggles to get going with a whole fish
(c) Forestry Commission England

this is mine and I WILL get into it (c) Forestry Commission England

this is mine and I WILL get more into it
(c) Forestry Commission England

quite a big morsel (c) Forestry Commission England

quite a big morsel
(c) Forestry Commission England

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