A bit of a flap

It’s been another beautiful day, and the ospreys have enjoyed relative peace. Fish continue to be delivered to the nest at regular intervals! Yesterday evening at 17:58, 33 added a third fish to his day’s list, and delivered a lovely roach. Then later on he brought a fourth, this time a trout, at 21:20. They ate the roach but didn’t finish the trout, which was then left on the nest overnight.

Incoming roach

Shortly after the trout delivery, there was an intruder in the bay, which took their minds off the fish for a while. Both Maya and 33 were on the nest, mantling over the chicks who lay prone, as their defence strategy is to be still and use their natural camouflage to remain unseen. The intruder was in the area for a few minutes, and must have been circling the nest as the birds kept following it as it flew around them. At one point you can see the intruder in the top left corner of the screen.

Mantling

Intruder last night

Onto today, and the morning began with some fish swaps. The trout that had been left overnight was taken away by 33 at 07:30. He ate some of this fish and then brought it back to the nest again about an hour later, and Maya then fed some to the chicks.

Flapping has been the order of the day today, and the larger chick has been getting quite good at it. She has had several bouts of wing flapping today, none of them last very long but she is gaining in confidence. The smaller chick has also had a go, but is slightly more wobbly. The feathers on the chicks’ wings are still not complete, and some feather pins are still apparent, but it won’t be long before both of the chicks are exercising fully feathered wings in preparation for fledging! Fledging usually occurs at around seven weeks old, so these two should take to the air in the first week of July.

Flapping

Flapping again

Here is the smaller chick having a flap this morning. There are a lot more feather pins still evident in this chick’s wings.

Little chick flapping

The peace was interrupted a couple of times today by other ospreys intruding and causing panic, mostly with 33 who always gets more upset than Maya, until the intruders get really close. The first was just after 11:00, and the next just after 13:00. Both times the intruding osprey didn’t come close enough to be caught on camera, but was seen clearly from Waderscrape hide.

Intruder above!

Here’s a funny clip of 33 bringing in a stick! You can see both of the chicks watching him as he comes, then when he lands the stick ends up right on the back of the larger chick, who then quite boldly has an angry peck at him! Then when he steps closer she has another angry swipe and almost grabs his wing. This is clearly a very brazen young osprey, which will stand her in good stead in future.

Angry chick

Biting 33

Finally, here’s another water rail photo, taken by volunteer Jan on this morning’s shift. Thanks for this Jan!

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