There is an egg for 37 and his mate, laid on 25 April, or very early today (their favourite date!); the pair were sharing incubation duty by mid morning. Why don’t we know the date?
37 and his mate have put in a lot of work on their nest as you can see from earlier posts on the blog. Unexpectedly, they have chosen to lay their eggs on a new platform on a pole in the same area. This has been installed because the tree housing the original nest is decaying and potentially unstable so a replacement was needed; the ospreys have taken the unilateral decision to move now, not next year! There is a nestcam on the new pole but because of the sensitivity of the incubation period it will not be possible to switch to it for a while.
A shame for addicts who like to follow all the detail of the ospreys’ lives through the nestcam, but actually it is good news in the longer term because it wasn’t going to be possible to ring the chicks this year given the state of the original tree. And there was a risk that it could fall in wild weather – a disaster if eggs or chicks were on the nest. Here are a couple of photos of the new home.
Meanwhile, on Nest 1 there was no sign of a second egg by 17.00, when Mrs YA had just returned to incubation duty. The day started with a clear sight of the single egg just after 09.00 when there was a speedy changeover in the light rain.
At 10.03 there was a brief period of mantling, Mrs YA having popped down from the pole to join YA. No other birds were visible and all was calm very quickly. Mrs YA then did a stint on the nest and as the weather improved she nodded off.
But peace didn’t last. YA had been back for a while when he suddenly got off the egg screaming at something.
A bird flew very fast to the left of the nest edge, almost certainly an osprey, just after Mrs YA landed with a fish to offer YA moral support. The rest of the afternoon was calmer and in weak but warm sunshine Mrs YA sat on the pole and YA left the egg for his favourite perch before returning to mate with Mrs YA on top of the pole! Soon after she returned to duty.
Female ospreys moult during the breeding cycle and Mrs YA has started to lose a few feathers as the last image shows. A final point of interest; it is possible that she caught the fish lying in the nest. She had been absent for over an hour before the intruder alert, and the fish she landed with appeared fairly untouched, although dead.