Going to try and give an update as best as I understand it. Feel free to leave comments and correct me if needs be. My normal days off are Monday and Tuesday so I was not aware of what was going on with the nest as when I left on Sunday both birds were still in and around the nest. It looks like we have had a couple of days with fleeting visits to the nest and birds still being seen in the area but not necessarily looking to breed this year.
Photo by Alison Elder
If this continues, I think we can safely say that the ospreys will not be breeding here this season. This is both sad and hopeful. If we compare this to the last 2 years where we have not had any ospreys it is really exciting that we have a young and inexperienced couple that are looking to protect the territory. It feels quite fitting for our new centre to start with a young pair that are just learning the ropes!
This morning we located one of the birds sitting in a low perch eating a very healthy sized fish. This is a good sign that they are still in the area but was very difficult to see if this was the male or the female. I’m sure you could see this on the webcam from earlier today, although quite pixelated due to the distance. Possibly this was the female osprey as it looked bigger and might mean that she is feeding for herself. This was a concern when we opened the centre that the male was not providing enough fish to provide for both the female and the chicks. Possibly this is why we saw the female not lay any eggs even though there were many successful mating attempts.
I think this is the most realistic theory that we can muster to what might happen for our season as it sits closer to what we can expect from the average ospreys pairing. We might see (with a stroke of luck) the female still lay when the weather gets better and we carry on with a season that is a little fast-tracked! Our volunteer Alison has reported ospreys breeding as late as June. More likely is that we will see these ospreys defend the territory and return to breed at Loch Garten next year. Will we endeavour to try and locate the pair with our camera and keep you posted on any future developments.
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