Yesterday, in some miraculous way, we managed to get the live camera to work again! How long it will last this time, we can only guess, but we are thankful for what we have while we have it! Even though not much happens on the nest these days, it is still nice to see a live feed and the Ospreys do come to it occasionally, as the video below (recorded yesterday) proves.
As you can see, the Ospreys are still using the nest to do their fish swaps. Also, it is still 33(11) who is staying true to form and doing all of the fishing for a very patient Maya. If there were any chicks at this nest, they would just be fledging about now. Maya would soon begin to fish again, and both her and 33(11) would bring in fish for their fledglings. However, in their current situation, their instincts are still dictating that it is the male who will continue to fish, eat half and bring the rest to the female, just as it would be at the beginning of the season or during the incubation period.
It is a shame for Maya that she has been unable to breed this year. She has been a very successful breeding female for the past four years, and has raised eleven chicks with a very dependable male. This year it all changed for her when 5R(04) did not return. Although she found a new partner and laid eggs and all looked well, the chaos that ensued when 33(11) came along has meant that she has not been able to raise any chicks this season – a very different situation for her. She has not had to be permanently present on the nest with her chicks, to feed them, protect them, shelter them from the rain, shield them from the cold and shade them from the sun. As it is, she has spent most of this season perched near the nest, not doing an awful lot.
Now, I know it is highly unlikely that she sits there mourning the loss of 5R(04), ruing the fact that she has no chicks, thinking about what she would be doing if she did have chicks, or comparing 28(10) and 33(11), wondering which one she would have preferred to end up with. It is far more likely that she thinks of nothing at all, and just reacts to the changes in her immediate environment. Even so, there is almost certainly an element of confusion for her, and I still feel for her that she travelled all the way back from Africa with one purpose in mind – to breed – and has been unable to fulfil that objective.
It is different for 33(11), as he has never bred before and so doesn’t know any differently. At least this season has provided him with a good practice run, showing he can nest build, incubate (nothing), catch big fish (and share them) and defend his nest. We shall forgive him his intrusion into the domestic harmony between Maya and 28(10), just as long as he returns next year, and puts all of his practise into action!