Laying around

Today was the day! Maya laid the first egg of 2017 at 15:15 this afternoon. We had been watching her intently all day, as her restless behaviour indicated she could be ready to lay. During the afternoon she became even more agitated. She kept crouching down low in the nest and looked rather uncomfortable. From this we knew an egg was imminent! It was hard to see as Maya stayed very low, but when she got to her feet after lying still for a few minutes, we got a brief glimpse of the egg underneath her.

Egg!

Last season Maya laid the first egg on exactly the same date. 33 had arrived back on 27th, so it was only eight days after his arrival that the first egg appeared. With this in mind, we thought Maya might lay at the weekend. However, two weeks is the norm and it has been 13 days, so pretty perfect really!

Here’s Maya settling in to incubate, like the natural she is. Then 33 comes along to have a look! He’ll be eager to start incubating, as we all know how much he loves it!

Maya didn’t move from the egg on this occasion, but later on 33 returned to the nest and Maya helpfully rose to turn the egg. You can see him having a look in the video below!

Maya, 33 and egg

Then even later in the afternoon, 33 finally got his wish! He returned to the nest and looked longingly at Maya, who decided it was his turn, got up and left him to it. He settled straight back into it.

33 happily incubating

Both 33 and Maya have been doing a fantastic job of preparing the nest for their eggs. They have been and will continue to bring in plenty of sticks for building up the sides of the nest, and lots of soft hay and other material to make the centre comfortable. They scraped out a nice, safe indentation in the middle of the nest too. The nest looks a lot different now to how it did just before the ospreys came back. The middle of the nest is much smaller now, thanks to all of 33’s sticks!

Nest before they returned Nest now

Here are some of the nest building videos from the past few days.

Maya coming in to land

As was demonstrated on 26th March, sometimes Maya and 33 attempt to move the same stick at the same time. Well it happened again this morning! 33 delivered a large, multi-branched stick that he plonked in the middle of the nest, and they both tried moving it around for a while before 33 eventually got bored! He then flew off and Maya finished moving the stick herself.

There have also been some fish! Roach and trout are the species of choice.

We know that the trout in the following video came from Horn Mill Trout Farm, as 33 was spotted there last night!

Lovable osprey that he is, 33 has a habit of doing silly things that make us laugh. Well this season is no exception – here we see him dropping down from the T-perch towards Maya, presumably to mate with her. You can see from the clip that he misses his desired landing spot, and ends up perched on her wing! For while he just sits there, with Maya probably wondering what on earth he’s doing. Then she shrugs him off and he perches sheepishly in front of her.

We are glad that egg number one has safely come along. It could be two or three days before the next one appears, but keep an eye on the webcam as you might see it happen! Rest assured that we will keep you informed of any news.

Check out the lovely sunrise we captured on the wide angle camera this morning!

Sunrise