Last week, until the weekend, it was wet every day at some point. Then we had several days of hot and sunny weather. In rain or heat chicks tend not to do much – shelter, feed, sleep and preen sums it up. But there has been plenty of development over the period.
On Nest 1A, the chicks are the most advanced of the 4 nests. Chick 3 is probably from the 4th egg to hatch, given marked size difference to its siblings. All the chicks now look like young ospreys as their feathers grow.
In the image above chick 2’s primary wing feathers are emerging from their protective sheaths. When the chicks preen, they will break off pieces of the sheath, easier in dry weather as the sheaths are more brittle.
YA is providing between 2 and 4 fish during the 12 hour nestcam coverage. Feeds are orderly, with chicks tending to rotate so that often 2 are feeding and 1 is ‘resting’! Little sibling aggression has been seen – this is one incident, started by chick 3 pecking chick 1. Press HD for best quality on all clips.
Chick 1 was restrained in response. Usually, the dominant chick will ‘peck home’ the point!
The chicks fiddle with nest material.
They have started to flap their wings. Chick 1 is the only chick who can stand and exercise for several seconds without tumbling.
Chick 1 is also the only one able to walk a few steps without falling. And it can eat standing up.
The chicks on Nest 2 are about 5 days behind Nest 1A. Chick 1 started some experimental wing flapping on 16 May.
It has improved a bit since then, and can take a few steps.
37 usually brings 2-3 fish to the nest and provides a slightly more varied diet, with perch and roach being seen in the last few days. The chicks often eat separately.
On Nest 4, 69 also brings the occasional river fish. But, despite a blurry image, it looked like a Rainbow Trout that flipped over the nest edge during handover to Mrs 69.
69 flew off and replaced the lost meal within an hour. Nest 4 is about a week behind Nest 2, so the chicks are just leaving the reptilian stage. Chick 2 looked quite weak for some time in the rainy spell, but has plumped up, literally!
The chicks are becoming more mobile.
Chick 2 looked more like an osprey yesterday.
There is most aggression on this nest, doubtless a reaction to limited feeding opportunities during the wet weather and Mrs 69’s tendency to stop feeding despite the chicks still begging. 69 is more likely to feed the chicks until they are sated.
More intrusions are evident on Nest 4 than the others. Frustratingly, an English or Welsh osprey flew quite close to the nest – but not near enough for the ring to be readable.