Bits and pieces

Not a lot happens during incubation (if it does, it is often bad news such as the crow taking an egg at Loch of the Lowes) but there is interesting behaviour to observe, and the odd intruder about.

Here is a little intruder on Nest 1 – a chaffinch busily gathering up a few of the feathers Mrs YA is moulting. So a comfy nest is being prepared somewhere nearby.

A chaffinch gathers some feathers for its own nest (c) Forestry Commission England

A chaffinch gathers some feathers for its own nest – top left edge of the nest
(c) Forestry Commission England

The Nest 2 pair must have decided to double wrap their eggs – a blanket covered them at one point!

A blanket to keep the eggs warm! (c) Forestry Commission England

A blanket to keep the eggs warm!
(c) Forestry Commission England

It has been very wet at times over the last few days, although Wednesday was lovely. The ospreys have been sitting tight on the eggs with just an odd comfort break, other than at handover times. The rain forms droplets on their backs like a waxed car bonnet.

A very wet osprey (c) Forestry Commission England

A very wet osprey
(c) Forestry Commission England

Normally during incubation fish are consumed away from the nest. On Wednesday on Nest 1 YA brought a reasonable catch back for Mrs YA and as expected she flew off to eat it. But half an hour later she returned to finish it on the nest whilst YA incubated.

YA gives Mrs YA his catch - after having had some! (c) Forestry Commission England

YA gives Mrs YA his catch – after having had some!
(c) Forestry Commission England

On Nest 2, it is rare to see a fish being brought to the nest even for handover, the old tree is almost certainly the main feeding perch. But when one of the adults lands to sit on the eggs he or she often cleans their talons first, suggesting they have just tucked in.

Cleaning talons after eating (c) Forestry Commission England

Cleaning talons after eating
(c) Forestry Commission England

And talking of talons, on both nests the birds curl their talons and walk on ‘knuckles’ to protect the eggs as they near them.

37 curls his talons (c) Forestry Commission England

37 curls his talons
(c) Forestry Commission England

And Mrs YA does the same (c) Forestry Commission England

And Mrs YA does the same
(c) Forestry Commission England

Finally, here is a link to a video of life on Nest 1.

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