This morning we switched on the screens to see a dank, fine mist smothering the tops of the Scots Pines and poor old EJ soaked through and huddled over her eggs, rain dripping from her beak. Yes, you’ve guessed it, our Scottish summer has gone and passed us by, leaving us lot donning waterproofs in preparation for a early Autumn. *sigh*
Week three of incubation has passed us by in a blur it seems. I can’t believe there’s only two weeks until the chicks hatch out to become EJ and Odin’s third successive offspring. We are suspecting the first egg might hatch around the 21st or 22nd of May in keeping with last years first arrival on the 21st May. Odin has proved himself to be a really cooperative mate, doing his third of the incubation duties and yesterday did far more than his fair share of the work whilst EJ was either ‘away’ or complacently preening herself on a nearby perch. She clearly seems to be enjoying time to herself whilst she can, which is fair enough as her responsibilities of working mum are fast approaching!
So what? You might think. Is that all that’s been going on?! Far from it....
A few persistent intruders have been spotted on numerous occasions, in fact two minutes ago Abbi popped her head around the door to announce that an intruder Osprey had been spotted displaying and thankfully Odin had dutifully escorted him away from the property. Earlier this week we saw a very bold male vying for her attention and even flew over the nest, screeching and dangling what appeared to be a recent catch. Fortunately EJ did not seem particularly bothered by the attentions lavished on her and being a wizened Osprey of many years experience has probably seen her fair share of these showy young upstarts.
We think that these intruders may be young males, and possibly first time breeders who have recently returned from their migrations, later than most other Ospreys and are frantically trying to set up territory in a favourable area and settle down with a lady. A few might not even be ready for breeding until their third year, but that won’t stop them from trying to find a potential mate. It seems as if they’ll have to learn the hard way!
Other news on the site is that Wednesday’s guided walks are in full swing now. Walks start at 9.20 from the main carpark and last about 2-3 hours. Steph joined on one of the walks last week and was treated to some stunning views of Redstart, Willow Warbler and Goldcrest amongst many other treats. There’s only another two weeks until Caper watch finishes on the 20th of May but of late we’ve still been seeing a regular turn out of displaying cocks in the morning.
I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the onset of ‘Summer’. We might moan about the rain but we do need it in the highlands, after all.
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