A steady and pretty uneventful day, starting dry long enough to set up the telescopes, only to have to cover them against gentle rain for most of the morning. After lunch the weather improved and visitor numbers increased, bringing the recorded total to 92. Day-tripping families, holidaying couples and osprey supporters from other areas (Cumbria, Wales and even Cornwall!) were all equally enthusiastic about spotting the nest through the scopes and watching the action on the screens.
On arrival (about 10am) the chicks were being fed, but for much of the morning the parents were out of sight of the camera which was a bit of a worry for us. However, when the weather conditions improved in the afternoon they could be seen through the scopes perched in a nearby tree to the left of the nest and sitting on the edge of the nest. While the chicks generally kept hunkered down in the persistent light rain, occasional preening and stretching could be seen. All three of us had been on Osprey Watch last month and were amazed how much the helpless babies had grown in just a few weeks. At around midday, another fish was delivered and once again the chicks were well fed by Mrs YA.
At one point, one of the chicks went walkabout and disappeared out of view… but soon reappeared after a few anxious moments. We think it was the same individual who was making a good job of feeding itself on the remains of the fish later in the afternoon. The afternoon passed with the chicks resting, preening, stretching and flapping with parents generally close by. Details of their activities were obscured by the luxuriant grass growth in front of the camera – any chance of taking shears up when the nest is visited for ringing?! The adult in the tree to the left was probably White YA as a very bright white breast was visible through the scopes.
Stunning scenery, fascinating birds and enthusiastic visitors so all together a very satisfying way to spend a summer Sunday!
Cath, John and Sylvia
The team are correct, the same chick that went out of view was the one feeding itself. It is also the one that has indulged in quite a lot of bullying behaviour. At one point today it walked to the gap in the grass and in close up has a distinct look of Mrs YA. The chest isn’t as darkly streaked right up under the chin, but still quite similar. It’ll be surprising if it isn’t assessed as female at ringing.