Friday, 25 June 2010

Swallow cam

The swallow nest cam is now back up and running at Glentress. The first brood of chicks unfortunately died. We think that one of the parent birds had been killed and the other parent was overwhelmed by feeding the brood single handedly and so the young starved.

There is a new swallow nest and the camera went live today and the female swallow is sitting on eggs. There is a splendid view of the nest and we will hopefully be able to follow the rearing of the baby swallows through the rest of the season.

The ospreys are doing plenty of stretching of their wings. Yesterday the male osprey brought in a huge fish which was dark brown along the top and had a gold belly, with dark coloured fins. We thought that it did not look like the usual brown trout that he brings in and wondered if it was perhaps a dark salmon kelt? Any good fishing folk out there with suggestions as to what it could have been please let me know! I don't know whether the volunteer on duty recorded it, so I may not have any footage to show of the fish.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

The two chicks in the video are about half their full grown size now and their feathering has the spangled charecteristic of pale edging to the feathers which distinguishes them from adult birds. They clamber about the nest with confidence, their legs have become sturdier and the facial markings are clearly visible. The video footage was recorded on 20th June.

The chicks will be fitted with leg rings shortly which will be carried out by licenced rangers. The unique leg ring numbers will enable the birds to be identified in the future wherever they may end up.

At just four weeks old the difference in size between the two chicks is quite noticeable as the larger chick sets about the smaller one and after a few seconds of struggle, the smaller chick submits and puts his head down and waits for the onslaught to cease. Notice, in the film clip how completely unconcerned the adult is during the fight and continues to feed, despite the two siblings. Things calm down and the adult fed the larger chick first and then once full, the second chick got a share of dinner as well.

Chicks pictured at 10 days old.

The chicks pictured at almost four weeks old and the lunch time battle.

The chicks can be seen on the video clip at 10 days old being fed by their parents. Both chicks look fine ,strong and healthy.

The next clip shows a cheeky jay take a quick visit to the osprey nest to see if there were any interesting scraps of food available no doubt. It is a good reference point to see the size of the jay next to the towering osprey present at the nest. I am not sure who was more surprised but the jay didn't hang around for dinner!!

New Theatre for Children- coming soon.

The scorching hot summer is wonderful for holidays but not so great if you are an osprey mum trying to defend your brood from the sun and the chance of heat stroke.
The experienced parents of the Tweed Valley are exceptionally good at keeping their youngsters shielded and so they continue to thrive. The male is such a good hunter and has found some good fishing grounds and is continuing to bring in good sized fish for his family.
The blue tits have all fledged at Kailzie nest cam and we will be editing the recorded footage to bring you a blue tit life cycle film which can be seen at Kailzie Gardens Osprey Watch.
A childrens wildlife puppet theatre is being created at Kailzie in time for the schools summer holidays, so bring your children along to meet the characters and they can play with the hand puppets and put on their own wildlife shows.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

The male(white SS), has taken to bringing a full fish back to the nest and to proceed to eat it in front of the hungry family. This is unusual as he would normally arrive and hand over the goods to the female who would feed the chicks. He has chosen a good perch on which to feed, just off to the left of the nest which was created during the nest renovation at the start of the season. He is bringing in some huge trout and so there is no chance that the family will go hungry as there is plenty to share all round.
The youngsters are practicing preening their new feathers and mastering the art of projectile excretion out of the nest!
An unwelcome presence at the nest today caused the male to lean protectively over the young who dutifully played their part by dropping flat into the nest, beautifully camouflaged and perfectly still until the perceived danger had past.
Most likely an intruder osprey surveying the nest site.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Growing up.

The two chicks are growing into good sturdy stock. It is incredible to think that only a week or so ago they were two tiny white, fluffy, wobbly heads in the nest. Now they have the spangled colouring and of course their trade mark eye stripes. The parents are doting as ever and fish meals are provided in a steady flow throughout the day.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Only two chicks.

Sadly the third osprey egg did not hatch out. The female bird is quite consistent each year in laying 2 - 3 eggs and because she lost her first egg earlier in the season we were surprised when she went on to lay 3 further eggs making it four in total.
We wondered about the viability of the fourth egg as she may have spent all of her resources for the season.
However, the two chicks are thriving and have all of the attention of their doting parents.
The blue tits have hatched on the nestcam at Kailzie Gardens and the chicks are all doing well.