We were a little worried at 10.30 am when we arrived as two of the chicks were quite active, and one seemed not to be moving at all. We needn’t have worried – it later turned out to be fine, and was probably just having a lie-in!
YA brought in a decent sized fish at 11.30 am. This was quite a feat as there was a fairly strong breeze, and the water in our vicinity was quite choppy. Mrs YA fed them all well and then flew off for a while. While she was away from the nest, one of the chicks moved up to the top corner of the nest and picked up a very twiggy stick, replacing it in a slightly different place. Does it take after its Dad? The chick then came back down the front of the nest with a thin twig clasped firmly in its left foot, almost tripping itself up as it went, and tried to re-arrange it there. They seem to be starting nest-keeping very early.
Mrs YA was away from the nest on and off for an hour or more, but at 2.00 pm she was back on the nest and was feeding the rest of the fish to the chicks. She seemed to feed two of them well, then had a bit herself, and then fed the third, which had been just out of easy feeding range. They all appeared sated, and she did another round of feeding soon after. They look really well and alert. At 3.30 pm YA was seen in the bare tree to the left of the nest. He tried to land on the nest a bit later, but was virtually head-butted off by an unimpressed Mrs YA, as he was bringing no fish. He tried to land again about an hour later, but again was seen off. Just as we were packing up to leave at about 5.00 pm he came in with a fish. Our later customers were most impressed, and feeding started immediately. We had just dismantled the last scope. Typical!
We had 135 visitors, who were very happy to see the real nest through the scopes, and to talk endlessly about the ospreys. Some of the children were most impressive in the depth of the questions they had, particularly one young girl of about 7 from Newcastle. All in all we very much enjoyed our day, and managed to get all the kit put away a few minutes before the rain started.
David, Ian and Gillie
The grass at the rear of the nest is obscuring part of the nest, and a considerable part when the wind blows from that direction!