Saturday, 12 July 2008

Mum's Independence

Our Tweed Valley Osprey chicks have been huddled down the last couple of days trying to stay warm in the incessant rain, so not much flapping or pre-flying practise has been had. However, as soon as the sun breaks though they furiously preen themselves- the bedraggled look just won't do!- and start their 'pilates' routine. This is essential to build muscle fitness before their impending first flights.

Our chicks are now so big and mature that mum has started to leave them for considerable periods. She has been noticeably absent from the nest and the immediate area -not holed up on her usual perch as couple of trees away- for up to an hour at a time. She is finally able to take longer flights away from the family, as now they are big enough to look after themselves, and we suspect she is now joining in fishing. It is important for her to brush up on her hunting skills (which have been dormant for a couple of months) as she will soon need to fish for herself on migration. Dad is probably glad of the help in providing for the three huge hungry chicks as they are somewhat insatiable by now- though we've yet to see her bring a fish back to the nest herself.

We're all staying tuned for the thrills and spills of the coming week or so as the chicks take their first flights.

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