Hello, osprey fans,
We have been having a busy old time at the centre and I have finally found the time to sit down and try and give my best synopsis of what has been going on at the nest over the past couple of weeks.
We saw the arrival of the male AX6 who after a little bit of sky dancing started building up the nest to make it more chicks friendly. He arrived on the 12th of April and spent the first days alone on the nest.
Saturday the 16th of April was when we saw a metal leg ringed female join our male on the nest with some successful sky dancing and fish brought to her. All was well for a couple of hours until the old flame turned up!
We expect the unringed female that unleashed herself onto the nest was the same one who we observed paired up with AX6 last year. This might explain why AX6 didn't put up much of a fight when the metal-ringed female was ousted.
Ever since the 16th, we have been watching these two set up the nest with AX6 normally bringing in fish a little bit later in the afternoon. This has always been very rewarding for our visitors that are able to observe fish being brought in during opening hours in our centre but has led AX6 to be given the reputation of a useless hunter.
We have expected that it could be that because AX6 is a less dominant male in the area he has taken to fishing later in the day to incur less competition.
I am personally still not holding out hope for a successful season because I have been burned by this pair of ospreys before. We have seen some days where no fish has come onto the nest and on the 1st of May after an interloper was chased off the nest, we had lost sight of the male completely and the female did not solicit for food at all on the nest.
In amongst this turmoil, we have seen a few osprey intruders hanging around the nest. A male had been seen with the leg ring Blue NN2 to our best guess and some other unringed birds that have been making flybys. The bird ringed NN2 was a young male ringed near Fochabers in 2019 so it is possibly his first season back in the area.
In more recent days the female has been less aggressive to these intrusions and it may possibly be due to the lack of male presence around the nest.
This is still a chance that she will lay eggs and the earliest we estimated that could be possible was the 30th of April. If I were her though, I might want to see a more consistent flow of food before I considered sitting on eggs. Just when we think we have seen the last of AX6 he turns up with a smolt in his talons in ways of apology.
Will it be enough to save our season?
Let's wait and see, shall we?
Great to hear from you, Fergus - thank you for not donning rose-coloured specs. Oh I do wish you'd catch Axel and put a satellite tag on him, I'm burning with curiosity as to his daily wanderings (And that won't be the most popular thing I've ever suggested!)
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