We arrived early and were set up by about 10.30 even though the mist meant there was nothing to see through the scopes. The screens confirmed that the 3 chicks were all still in the nest and looking fit and healthy.
Around 10.50 the male arrived with a fish swiftly followed by the female who took it off him.
He left her on the nest and the chicks began to gather round, with Blue VV taking up prime position. The female fed VV a few scraps but ate a lot of the fish herself. VT waited hopefully for her share with little success and eventually moved closer to take what she could. UV appeared to lose interest and was not seen feeding. By 11.30 no fish could be seen but one of the chicks was almost completely off screen and may have taken what was left of the fish to eat it in peace.
Around 12.30 the male visited briefly but brought no fish. Before 1pm the female put in two appearances – but still no fish!
By now the mist had cleared and visitors and volunteers alike were getting good views through the scopes of wing flapping, stretching and an occasional hop. We also spotted one of the adults at first in a tree to the right and later in one to the left. Several of the visitors including a young man who was making his second visit of the day were able to pick the adult out and the chicks spent most of their time sitting facing us so their white fronts showed up really well in the sun shine.
Around 3pm one chick flapped vigorously but any attempt to count the number of flaps was hampered by the other two joining in – it did though dispel any doubts visitors had about whether they had really identified the chicks through the scopes.
There were a couple more visits from the adults – but still no more fish! As we spoke to late visitors just before 5 pm one chick briefly “helicoptered”.
We saw at least 106 visitors, including two from Bahrain. Many were family groups and in a couple of cases one of the party came back to look again and to find out more. The children particularly loved the pictures in the folders and Jack’s mum commented on the visitor list that Jack loved his sticker.
Margaret, Joyce and Robin