EJ IS BACK!! I cannot begin to describe to you how happy I am to see her, it's incredible to think that just a few weeks ago she was sunning herself on the west coast of Africa, and now here she is sitting right back on the nest she left only six months ago. At least this time she has some nice weather to welcome her back!
Her exact return time was 2.15 pm (so who won the bloggers sweepstake?) when she flew in to the nest with a huge rainbow trout having obviously stopped off at the fish farm on the way! She took us all by surprise arriving today, 24 March, which is the earliest she has ever returned, maybe the good weather over the past few days sped up her journey.
It's great to see her back for her ninth season, at 14 she is getting on a bit and it's safe to say there have been a few ups and downs over the years. Even so she has managed to successfully fledge 15 chicks from this nest, quite a record, and here's hoping we get a few more this year!
I stayed at the centre until half six, just watching her on the nest as the sun set over the hills, it was such a beautiful scene. After I left the centre, I walked down the path to Loch Garten and just sat looking out across the water. The ripples caused by a pair of goldeneye on the far side of the loch were the only movement on the still, calm loch. Then I heard the calls of pink-footed geese, and I looked up to see a small flock flying across Loch Garten. They flew right over my head, so close that I could hear the sound of their wings beating.
As I wandered home through the forest with the night drawing in I heard a pair of tawny owls calling to each other across the wood. I can't imagine a more magical setting for such an enchanting story. It's going to be a great year.
So now we have our beginning, I wonder what the nest chapter will bring. Will Odin return? Will there be a new male on the scene? We'll all just have to wait and see.
Just to reiterate the message from Richard on the last blog, even though EJ has now returned the centre does not actually open until the 1st of April. Please respect that and don't come up to the centre, EJ needs time to settle in and we don't want to spook her off the nest.
We also realise there is an issue with the sound on the webcam, we are working on it and hopefully we will get it sorted tomorrow.
That's all for today folks! Hold on tight, here we go again!!!!!!
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