Some more brilliant news today, to add to the excitement of 8F(12)’s return to England. This morning, the first chick hatched at Site B! Based on the usual period of incubation (35-40 days), we estimated it would be today, and it was!
The behaviour of the adult birds changes when hatching is imminent. They become restless, standing up, shifting position and turning the eggs more often. Also, during incubation, fish are not consumed on the nest. However, when there are chicks, fish is always eaten on the nest because they need feeding. So the sight of the female eating a fish whilst on the nest this morning was a big clue that there was a chick! A definite sign is when the female offers fish down into the nest, undoubtedly feeding a chick.
Without the benefit of a camera, the chicks will not be visible until they are about ten days old, when they are big enough for their heads to pop up above the side of the nest. Therefore, it will be a couple of weeks before we are able to confirm how many chicks there are at Site B. At present, there is definitely one!
Not a lot has been happening in Manton Bay today. The Manton Bay pair have been sitting on the perches for most of the day, sunning themselves and preening. No fish has been brought in yet, and no sticks either, surprisingly! Who can blame them for not doing much, on a beautiful sunny day like today!
There have been no reported sightings of intruders in the Bay. No sign of 8F(12) returning home yet, but we may see him in the coming days!