As we reported on Friday, the Site B chicks – who are more than a week older than their counterparts at Manton Bay – have been doing lots of helicoptering as they prepare for their first flights. Osprey chicks usually fledge when they are aged between seven and eight weeks old and so we have been expecting first flights any time.
1F is the oldest and most-advanced of the three chicks and so was favourite to fledge first. Sure enough, at 11:40am yesterday – following a morning of helicoptering – the young male launched himself into the air for the first time. He was understandandably uneasy on the wing at first, but managed to complete several short circuits of the nest before landing, with a bump, next to his siblings.
Having successfully completed his first flight, 1F clearly decided that that was enough for the time being. He sat on the edge of the nest for the rest of the afternoon and then tucked into a good-sized roach that 03(97) delivered to the nest at 4pm.
With a good meal inside him the young male became more active and, after a bout of wing flapping, he took to the air again at 6:40pm. After a surprisngly competent circuit of the nest he then skilfully landed on a branch adjacent to the nest. Not bad for only his second flight! Buyoed by his success he then made three more short flights before 7pm, before finally settling on the nest for the rest of the evening.
This morning 1F has been at it again. He’s completed several more short flights to and from the nest. I wonder how long it will be before he’s joined on the wing by his sister and brother? Whatever the case, its just great to see the first of this year’s juveniles flying for the first time!