Over the past few days we have seen the juveniles in Manton Bay performing increasing amounts of wing flapping and helicoptering, getting higher above the nest and more confident. The two oldest chicks were seven weeks old on Saturday 2nd July, and we knew it wouldn’t be long before one of them took a leap of faith and fledged. Well, T7 did it yesterday!
She had been the most enthusiastic about flapping all day, and bravely took off the nest in the afternoon, flying to the T-perch, where she remained for a good few hours, perhaps afraid to fly again in the intense wind that had picked up. Maya accompanied T7 on her first flight, and sat with her on the perch. Females are known to do this, and we saw that Maya flew around with all three juveniles on their first flights last season. It is more evidence of the superb parenting skills ospreys possess, and that they wish to keep their young safe at every stage of their life.
Today T7 has gained much more confidence on the wing and has taken many flights around the bay.
T6 appears to be the next in line to fledge, and has looked like she was ready to go all day today. Consequently, I have spent most of the day excitedly glued to the big screen in an attempt to film her first flight. We were convinced she would do it today, but she still hasn’t yet taken the plunge. Here is evidence of her getting close!
She has had us on tenterhooks all day, flapping enthusiastically and leaning right over the edge of the nest! A couple of times T7 has flown off and done a fly-by before landing back on the nest, as though trying to encourage her sister to follow her lead. At one point today T6 made us laugh as, in a frenzy of flapping and jumping, she accidentally landed on top of T8!
We’re sure it won’t be long before T6 fledges. If not today, then surely tomorrow. T8 won’t be far behind her, either, as he has also been showing significant enthusiasm!