There was half of a great big trout in the nest first thing this morning. 33 had brought it in at around 07:30, and the chicks had already had their fill and were curled up together, sleeping it off. Could this huge fish have been another Ryhall trout? Very possibly!
Since the chicks hatched, Maya has spent almost all day every day sitting on the nest with them. She devotes herself to these chicks and ensures they are cared for, protected, kept warm, dry and fed. As they grow up, she will leave them alone on the nest more and more. But she will not go far. She may stretch her wings or chase a goose and be gone for 30 seconds, but she’ll never leave the area. Recently she has taken to sitting on the camera perch and watching the chicks from there. She fed the chicks a few times from the large trout during the morning.
Here’s a nice close up of the chicks all curled up together, stretching their wings and settling in. It’s getting more and more difficult to tell which one the youngest chick is now – especially when they’re all curled up together in a bunch. The third chick is quickly catching up with the older two in terms of size, and although there is still a difference, it is less pronounced. This is good news, although we never had any worries about the survival of chick number three – not with such an attentive mother, and a father who catches enough fish to feed an army!
They are all getting so big, and growing up incredibly fast. No faster than usual, of course, but it makes time seem to fly by when you see them change each day. At three weeks old more feather pins are pushing through, and their colour is changing again. Their feet are developing very quickly – look at this chick’s foot in the photo below! Their legs and feet develop the fastest, and this foot here already has some formidable talons on it! At this age their feet can look too big for them, and they waddle about clumsily. When we ring the chicks at 5-6 weeks old, their feet are almost fully developed.
33 came back for the rest of the fish when he was hungry, and I really thought he was going to have a go at feeding the chicks! But alas, he didn’t, and he flew away with the fish to the T-perch. Maybe next time…
He brought it back later on, and Maya was there to take it from him and feed the chicks again.
It’s great to watch the chicks shuffling round the nest and taking more interest in their surroundings. They are gaining balance slowly, and yesterday the oldest chick was trying its feet out. Today, the little one had a go at standing up!
One of the older two chicks had a go at moving a stick about again today. Their instincts are strong – they are much too young to nest-build, but when presented with a stick they will try to move it about. This could also be due to general inquisitiveness, but their instincts will guide them well throughout their lives. 33’s instincts are what is making him such a superb partner and provider, and in a couple of month’s time, these three chicks are going to be relying on their instincts to get them all the way to West Africa!
At about 14:30 this afternoon, I noticed 33 mantling on the nest, and immediately thought – intruder! Sure enough, a phone call determined that not one, not two, but FOUR Ospreys were flying around above the bay. 33 gave chase and they all disappeared.
Don’t forget you can join us at Lyndon for our first Guided Summer Walk on 17th June, this walk will be led by me. Or perhaps a guided walk with Tim Mackrill is more to your fancy – his last one sold out fast, so click here to book onto the next one on 1st July.