As we set up the weather seemed to be improving but by 11 am the rain had started and the mist descended. Scanning the nest and surrounding trees brought no sightings and within half an hour we could not see the line of trees in which the nest is situated let alone see the nest!
A trickle of visitors braved the rain, sheltering under the umbrella while we explained what they might have been able to see had the weather been better and, of course, if the chick had not fledged yesterday. Thank goodness for the photographs, including the particularly good ones of this year’s chicks!
By around 12.30 we could not see the far shore and the live feed of an empty nest was becoming less than inspiring. A couple with young enthusiastic children had just left us when one of the children ran back to tell us that there was a bird on the nest!
It was the female and she came and went from the nest several times over the next 2 hours, calling, and from her 2nd visit onwards carrying a substantial part of a rainbow trout. As the rain persisted we moved the scopes and ourselves indoors while keeping our eyes open for visitors who were encouraged indoors to view the female on screen and to see the photographs.
At around 2.30 just after the female had again left the nest, taking the fish with her, Blue 6H arrived. S/he called and helicoptered, disappearing off the top of the screen, only to re-appear moments later. Around 10 minutes later mum returned still carrying the part eaten fish. He almost snatched it from her, moved to the side of the nest and tucked in. Mum flew off and came back several times and did a bit of nest tidying, all still in the pouring rain. During the hour or so that Blue 6H continued to demolish the fish we had a steady stream of visitors, many with small children, some 43 visitors in all. In between explaining the life of ospreys and answering visitor’s questions we were entertained by a family of pied wagtails scurrying around under the tables in search of insects and also a family of crows who appeared to be considering playing Snakes and Ladders on the large outdoor board.
Finally the rain eased and we ventured out with the scopes. Blue 6H decided the fish tail was not worth the effort and went on to “practice” nest building, moving around smaller branches and some of the moss. Mum took the chance to finish off the fish.
Just before 4pm, as we were thinking that this had turned out to be a good day after all, an osprey was seen over the inlet by the Boat Inn, another could be seen flying over the water near the far bank and we could still see Blue 6H and mum on the nest! Then the rain started again, and the mist descended so we moved back indoors. We were still able to show visitors 2 ospreys on the nest. Mum left just as we were packing up, Blue 6H was sticking around but will s/he be there tomorrow?
Dave, Neil and Margaret
A very resilient bunch, the volunteers – and the visitors – today!
YA had brought the fish to the nest at 12.30; Mrs YA removed it almost immediately. At the time it appeared that she may have been going to feed Blue 6H elsewhere, so the use of the nest for feeding a bit later is very pleasing for human observers! Hopefully there will be more frequent appearances tomorrow when the weather is likely to be much better.
A Forestry Commission Ranger checking on Nest 2 a couple of days ago saw one of the fledglings hovering over a nearby burn, so at least one is getting a feel for a life of fishing!
Here are some photos from the part of the day prior to the return of Blue 6H.