Hello from Loch Garten,
Another quick update from the nest to keep you in the loop.
EJ is still busy incubating her three eggs but unfortunately hasn't been receiving the support she deserves from her young male, George. She, as chief incubator and egg protector, has passed on all fishing duties to George, so that she can diligently attend to her duties. Since Saturday, however, George hasn't brought her so much as a single flipper, fin or tail. He'd been doing so well, too! His fishing abilities are obvious and his willingness to incubate while EJ ate his fishy offerings commendable. But something has apparently changed. We still see him occasionally (especially our volunteers who are doing the night watch) and for the past few mornings he has been around at approximately 5am - either to mate with EJ or land on the nest briefly before disappearing, often for the rest of the day. In fact, we are rarely seeing him at all during the day (if you're following the webcam, assume that no news from us means no sight of George)!
EJ is hoping George will bring her a fish!
Has he mated with more then partner, meaning he now has another incubating female to attend to? Or is he just a young, naive animal with no breeding experience and a need to learn fast? Either way, it's not looking good for the success of the breeding season. If EJ is left without for much longer, she'll be forced to abandon the eggs to go and feed herself, leaving them to the mercy of the Scottish weather (uh-oh) and any opportunistic crows or buzzards that might be passing. Trust me when I say we are as nervous about it all as you!
If a fish arrives or anything big happens, we'll be sure to let you know, but keep checking our Facebook page as we often post quick updates there.
In other news, Gloria the goldeneye is still incubating her eggs in the nestbox. She began on the 27th of April so we would expect them to hatch in the last week of May or first week of June. It's always a great spectacle to watch the little ducklings fling themselves out of the nest, 10 feet to the ground below, in a real leap of faith.
Gloria's glorious clutch!
More info to follow as and when it happens, but for now, I'm sure you'll join me in os-preying for a fish!
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