DAILY UPDATES - Loch Garten nest - June 2019

  • Morning everyone,

    Apologies for the quick message, but it's a busy time here at LG and I'm off to a meeting very shortly, so, in haste...

    You will have noticed that the webcam is down. This is as a result of taking advice from Roy Dennis about how we can maximise the chances of a young osprey staking a claim on the LG nest. With the season being such a disappointment so far this year, we are now in the business of trying to encourage a bird here by all the means within our power. Roy has said, amongst other things, to get rid of the cameras on the nest in order to remove possible causes of fright, so this is what is happening today. We have decided to keep the camera on the tower, but to minimise movement so as not to disturb any ospreys. When the work has been done we will start up the tower camera again, but you will not get night vision or be able to read Darvic rings.

    We apologise for removing the nest webcam, but we're now well and truly in the business of pulling out all the stops to attract an osprey to claim this most famous of nests, so that 2020 is a successful season, because my goodness, we need it.

    We will of course do our best to keep you informed of any arrivals, but please bear with us.

    Visitor Operations Site Manager, RSPB Abernethy National Nature Reserve

  • Hi Jess
    Although Roy Denis has much much more experience than me with wildlife I still find it puzzling why a totally new bird on the nest would be frightened by the camera.
    If that was the case would any returning bird next year but put off to find the camera back up.
    I've always found birds are tolerant of inanimate objects, how many of us have put flapping washing out on the line only to see the birds still using the line, or how many times people have put up Owls or Birds Of Prey to frighten birds off only to see birds perched on them.
    I would have thought a better idea would have been to have a speaker up playing Osprey calls.
    I've not posted this from a selfish prospective because I don't watch the webcam so wont miss it...just curious.

    My Flickr photos

  • I too am a bit surprised by this decision Alan for the reasons you have said, however I do understand that they are desperate to attract someone to the nest. They are having such a bad year
  • In reply to SilverS11:

    SilverS11 said:
    however I do understand that they are desperate to attract someone to the nest. They are having such a bad year

    Yep I agree with that Silver too, that's why I didn't say I disagreed with the decision, as you say they must be desperate to try anything.

    My Flickr photos

  • I am quite surprised as well, I'm not convinced the cameras are the problem, more there just doesn't seem to be many ospreys around to even try out the nest.

    © Scottish Wildlife Trust - Loch of the Lowes

  • I too am surprised but I suppose RD knows best.

    Personally I would have thought a total overhaul would have been more appropriate - ie its centre dug out and some branches tied in all around it for lets face it, the osprey tends to be lazy looking for a ready made nest so why not?

    I know it would be very sad seeing this but I still see the nest as EJ and Odins, it having "grown" over the years with them but those days are past now and it is time for a new young pair to claim this nest with the opportunity to build and make it their own.

  • If they prefer a nest that is already in use it wants a dummy Osprey putting on the nest, they want to hope that it isn't the location that is putting new birds off..one thing they can't solve.

    My Flickr photos

  • This nest may have been an osprey nest for 60 years but it now is just like any other empty platform erected to attract ospreys.

    THere might not be an occupant for 40 years.

    The one thing we have learned in recent years that ospreys are mainly interested in occupied nests and their abition is to oust the osprey of their sex. Why wouldn't they? That way they get not only a nest but a partner and are ready for breeding.

    After all it was because EJ was ousted from her nest that gave Loch Garten one of its most famous residents.

    The other possibility is that a young male two year old from one of the local nests might take a shine to the empty nest.

    It would be good to have a camera to see any of these prospecters.

    Tiger's RSPB Signature

  • I don't disagree with trying anything to attract osprey to the nest although this action does seem a bit like clutching at straws. I see no harm in changing the variables that can be changed & seeing what happens, the camera being one of the few variables that can be changed.
    As a general point of principle though, I do think we humans tend to overstate our knowledge of wild creatures with the result that conjecture quickly becomes fact in our minds.
    A while back there was an episode of In our Time on BBC Radio Four about bird migration. The format of this programme is that three renowned experts in any particular field engage in a discussion on the topic at hand in response to questions put to them by the host (Melvyn Bragg). During this particular episode it was very refreshing to hear the experts answering "we just don't know" numerous times in response to questions about migration.
    In relation to the situation at LG, we may well just have to also admit "we just don't know" but continue to change the variables that can be changed and hope for the best.

  • I am just as mystified and disappointed as any, so all these conjectures are of interest to me. However I wonder whether we will ever know the mind of an osprey in its decision-making regarding nests. Some long-standing nests in the US have gone empty in the past few years too, Blackwater National Refuge being one that has lost its eaglecam and ospreycam nest residents after more than a decade or two of occupation. Yet other nesting locations have cropped up.

    EDIT: @Ian S Just after I posted, I saw your post, and you stated coherently my thoughts already!

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