It looks like my pessimism has been rewarded with some eggs and lots of fish!
Almost as soon as I had uploaded my last blog admonishing these osprey's chances at producing eggs, one appears. I am still a little concerned at their bohemian attitude to incubation but who am I to judge. Over the past week, the initial egg has experienced a direct talon from AX6, trout tug of war and almost being lost amongst new branches and lichen. Some osprey parents have been reading the hygge parenting book and think this approach is character-building for an undeveloped embryo. Some days it appears that they take a much longer time between sitting on the eggs which may suggest these are new to incubation.
The response from the female when she first laid the egg was priceless with what looked like shock and surprise at what she had produced!
This moment seemed to spur AX6 into action and we began to observe much more fish being brought to the nest. We are also hearing much fewer food soliciting calls coming from the female. Let me know in the comments if you think this is because she is incubating and trying to maintain a low profile or if you think it's because she is getting enough fish!
The first egg was produced on the evening of the 3rd of May and then we observed a second egg early on the morning of 7th of May. This is a 4-day interval between these two eggs but could have been laid under the cover of the darkness on the 6th.
Ospreys are often producing an egg every three days so tomorrow evening we should be keeping a watchful eye on the cameras to try and see if a third egg is on the way.
There is a little bit of a fan theory that we were watching the female pretend to feed chicks when she was eating her own fish. This would be a very interesting instinctual behaviour that might make sense for this time of year if our ospreys had been a more established pair. Maybe it is this lateness to this season but it could be the reason our male osprey is bringing in lots of fish and our female is pretending to feed chicks. Instinct might be kicking in hard with these two and their hormones and circadian rhythms are telling them they already have chicks!
I think I need to continue in my pessimistic ways if only for its superstitious success.
I don't think we are going to see another egg on this nest in the next few days and I don't think this inexperienced couple will hatch any chicks.
For me it was obvious that eggs were incoming and I'm glad Mistle has had the sense to only lay two as they are running behind time. I'm now looking forward to seeing two determined and fast-growing osplets in early June - and I'm keeping everything crossed that the weather is kind to them.
You should always expect the unexpected with these wonderful birds!
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