There was a great deal of excitement last night when Maya laid her first egg! She had been looking a little bit restless throughout the day, and around 19:00 yesterday evening she was looking somewhat uncomfortable. She was crouching low in the nest for a while, then standing and looking down at the empty cup. Then she sat down in the nest for around 15 minutes. The next time she stood up, there was an egg beneath her! The following screen grab was taken from the webcam, as no-one was in the Lyndon Centre at that time to press record on the main live screen. The picture is a bit blurry but this shot shows the first view we had of the egg!
This morning, when the camera was first turned on, Maya and 33 were both on the nest, in the process of swapping over incubation duties. As we know from last season, 33 enjoys incubating and likes to do it as much as possible, not just when a fish is delivered as is usually the case. He had not brought in a fish to instigate this change-over, he merely wanted another go! According to our morning volunteer, Peter Larvin, 33 spent most of the morning (from 6am) incubating the egg, whilst Maya sat nearby, and only had two ten-minute breaks! Interestingly, as opposed to being unwilling to move from the eggs for anything less than a fish, Maya seems happy enough to move over and let him get on with it!
We’ve been having fun playing with the zoom on the top camera, which gives a very intimate and privileged view into the nest. Here are a few close up shots of the egg! It’s fascinating how vigilant these huge birds are when they’re around their eggs, and their chicks. They always ensure they fold those long talons right in whenever they go near them, and tread very carefully.
This egg is the first of three, which are normally laid at two to three day intervals. We expect the second to come along tomorrow! This is a very early egg, laid only eight days after 33 arrived back. However, last season the first egg was laid nine days after 33 got back, so it is not unprecedented. This pair arrived back a lot earlier this year than last season, and they do not waste any time! It is brilliant that we now have an egg, and can look forward to two more in the coming week. We will then have five and a half weeks of incubation to sit through, until the chicks hatch some time in the second week of May!