.......before you plan to visit us, for the next few days!
Winter has returned with avengeance. The webcam picture of the Loch Garten osprey nest says it all. A full 2ft (I'm an imperial sort of a guy), that's 60cm in new money, fell last night and still it is piling down. Roads are blocked again, buses and trains are off, there are power outages everywhere - but ironically, because we still have a generator, we are fine! (Progress with installing the mains supply has now ground to a halt, again!). The car parks are blocked with deep snow and we are not likely any time immediately, to get them clear, with other priorities to focus on, like trying to keep roads open, removing the latest fallen branches and limbs from the roads and just trying to keep everything together etc. Basically, it is weather-caused chaos here, again. Radio Scotland this morning singled-out Badenoch & Strathspey as likely to get the most of the further snow that is forecast widely. Bah!
Tomorrow, 1st April (Thursday) is when we plan to open, and we will try too, but the weather has hampered our last minute preparations, so if you do brave the elements, and get here by dog-team, you'll just have to take us as you find us. If these conditions persist, you will though struggle to get to us, so my advice is to postpone your visit. Many of you I know were planning to come and see us on our first day, which would have been great, and of course you are welcome, but please think twice before you set off. Not just my advice, but it chimes with Police advice too.
And besides, we haven't now seen EJ since 2pm yesterday (Tuesday). As you can see on the webcam, her nest is consumed by deep snow. Is she under there somewhere perhaps?! No, my guess is that she will have cleared off to somewhere more sheltered. By doing so, and leaving her nest unoccupied, she runs the risk of another insurgent osprey taking over, but in this weather? I think that's unlikely. I reckon EJ has made a calculated decision to go off to shelter, and take care of herself and leave her nest for now, knowing that her age, experience and dominace at Loch Garten will enable her to oust any chancer that happens to move in. I suspect she might be hanging around a good fishing site somewhere, close to food, but will not bother to bring fish back to her nest to eat it, but eat it on site where she catches it.
Similarly, Caper-watch starts tomorrow, but frankly I'd forget it, in these conditions. We haven't been seeing birds yet, and are unlikely to whilst we have all this snow. We start on 1st April because we have to start at somepoint, but it is early for there to be much , if any activity, even in the best of conditions, but when it is like this, no chance. Also, at this rate, Caper-staff might not make it through to work anyway. Give it a day or two, I'd suggest.
We'll keep you posted on developments. Meantime, now where's the snow-shovel.......
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