It’s been a much colder, breezier day today, and the wind has been creating waves on the surface of the reservoir. The chicks were fed early this morning, and when we arrived at the centre they were all huddled up underneath Maya, keeping warm. Maya appeared very content, and looked as though she was falling asleep too.
She left the chicks on their own for about 30 seconds while she stretched her wings, then returned to brood them again.
33 had been having a bit of trouble catching a fish in the choppy waters, but eventually he brought in another fish for his family. The fish was a pike, caught in the bay, and it was entire – 33 had not eaten any of it yet. When the birds are incubating, the male generally eats the head of each fish he catches, and brings the rest to the female. When there are chicks, he usually brings the whole fish straight to the nest, sometimes coming back for the remains later. If there is plentiful fish and there is still some left on the nest, 33 might catch another one and eat some while Maya finishes the earlier one.
Here are the chicks happily scoffing the pike.