Thursday, 15 September 2011

End of Season and release of LT

Most of the ospreys will have left for Africa by now and so 2011 osprey season has ended and it has been another successful one in the Tweed Valley. Our main nest birds on camera fledged 3 healthy chicks and we have had returning birds in to the area. The injured osprey 'LT' was successfully released to make his migration journey and that is a fine way to end this years season on such a happy note. I will attempt to upload the release film again as it didn't work last time! I hope that you enjoy seeing LT take off across the valley and he looks strong and healthy. Thank you to all the Tweed Valley Osprey Project supporters and the volunteers who staff the centres enthusing visitors and telling them all about the Tweed Valley Osprey Story. Thank you to all the project partners for another great season and to Tony Lightley and Ronnie Graham for ringing ospreys and Tricia Smith for rehabilitating the injured bird back to health. Glentress wildwatch room with cameras on wildlife will remain open and Kailzie Gardens Opsrey Watch will be open for themed events with the Friends of Kailzie Wildlife Project Officer during autumn and winter.
video

Friday, 2 September 2011

Film clip of releasing LT

Released today

The osprey has been recovering for nearly two weeks in South of Scotland Wildlife hospital under the specialist care of Tricia. Her dedication paid off today when on the advice of Conservation manager from the Forestry Commission, Tony Lightley, he was taken to the site where he was raised as a chick.
It was with baited breath that he was released and we stood and watched while he surveyed his surroundings and then took off with purpose and good strength. He looked fabulous as he flew across the valley and we were so pleased that he hopefully, is going to make his journey to migrate to Africa in good time.
Thank you so much to Tricia and all her hard work, to enable this osprey to safely recover and be returned to the wild where he belongs.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Recovering osprey

The injured osprey is recovering slowly. He is still in specialist care but is now able to manage to eat two full fish per day unaided which is a good sign.
He is also flapping his wings more and so hopefully his strength is returning.
We hope that he can be strong enough for release very soon.

Friday, 19 August 2011

No birds seen today







The osprey family were absent from the nest for most of the day on Thursday 18th August. We have had sightings reported to us of birds out as far as the Pentlands, it could be early returners passing down through the country starting their migration or local young birds spreading out into wider territory.
We have had an injured osprey which has been examined by a vet and has no visible injuries but needing a good rest. This is a Borders bird first ringed here in 2009 and he has a blue leg ring with the lettering LT, he is only two years old so he is unlikely to have successfully bred this year.

Pictured is vet David Campbell with osprey blue leg ring LT.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Rainy weather!

No ospreys at the nest today. It rained constantly and the sounds from the forest was of rain pouring and dripping from the trees and off the camera! The last time the family were all seen at the nest was on Wednesday, they are most likely sitting out and waiting for the weather to improve. Hunting fish in rain like this cannot be easy, so best to reserve energy and wait for a better day. Here are some clips of the chicks being ringed this year. The ringers are Tony Lightley Conservation Manager from Forestry Commission and Ronnie Graham.
video
video

Friday, 5 August 2011

Alasdairs blog - back by popular demand!

Alasdair our youngest volunteer was on duty today and he has written todays blog for us. Thank you Alasdair!

Friday 5th August

Today there has been a lot of activity on the nest. When the cameras came on there was nothing but a dead fish. At about 11: 30am, the adult male arrived back with a fish quickly followed by ZN who started eating the fish that was already there. The male began alarm calling as there was an intruder in the area. It wasn’t long before the male left.
There has now been some strange behaviour as the male arrived back with a fish closely followed by an unringed female who stole the fish. The male began alarm calling. Then the male went low as if to scrape the nest cup and then started moving nesting material about the nest.
Earlier there was a jay that stole the remains of a fish that was bigger than itself. There is a lot of calling going on, which can be heard even when the ospreys aren’t on the nest. In the background you can also hear the jays making an infernal racket competing with ZP.

This is my last shift of the season. It is my second season as a volunteer and it has been the best. Thank you to everyone who has made this season the best.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Jays and Ospreys!

Today two chicks with leg rings, blue ZP and ZR who have become known as Zippy and Zorro were at the nest for most of the morning. The male bird brought in a fish and the chicks fed themselves and then squabbled over the remains until one of the chicks took the fish from the other, not sure which one it was.
Then two cheeky jays appeared and it seems to be an adult and youngster, the jays have been enjoying scraps of food left over on the nest when the ospreys are away. However, their boldness today was amazing. One jay kept returning to the nest while the ospreys were eating and just grabbed bits of twigs and sticks and tugged them away. Is this just a bit of mischief making?
The osprey chicks are spending a lot of time at the nest and they are extremely vocal.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Female osprey surprise!

Just as we were beginning to think that the female may have started to drift away from the family unit, she surprised us by turning up at the nest today. Two chicks arrived at the nest and were calling frantically for food. Then the male flew in to the nest carrying a fish which was so fresh it was still breathing and wet. He did not pass it across to the chicks however, but flew off into a nearby tree. The chicks were calling monotonously, beseeching him to return with the fish. Then an extraordinary thing happened, the adult female flew onto the nest and the male returned and passed the fresh fish, untouched, across to her. She feasted on it and even offered a small portion to one of the chicks. One chick flew off and then the other left the nest, just leaving the adult female who finished the whole fish to herself complete with tail fin, she then picked up some scraps of fish remains from an earlier meal and ate that.
We have never seen the male present a fish to the female this late in the season before and it was a fascinating insight into the bond between this pair. We are constantly learning more about the family life of the ospreys the more we observe them. It is hard not to apply anthropomorphism to the events today and see it as a touching moment within a relationship between the pair,as he has no duty to continue to bring fish to her at this late stage in the season. It begs the question - are they bound by more than just duty and instinct to raise a family?

Young carrying fish. 28th July.

A chick flew on to the nest with a fine fish in his talons. He never stayed to eat it, presumably in case his siblings spotted him and fancied sharing his prize.
There were no adults about and we wondered if this young chick had caught the fish for himself or whether he had been out hunting with his father who had caught it and pssed it over to him. Sometime after he had flown off, the other two chicks returned to the nest and they stridently vocalised their hunger for almost an hour before finally leaving.
The female has not been seen lately and perhaps she has broken away from the family as she will soon want to make her return journey back to Africa.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Alasdairs blog

Today our youngest osprey watch volunteer, Alasdair aged 11 years, was on duty at Kailzie Osprey Watch with his Dad. Alasdair has kindly written the blog for us about what was happening today.

Alasdair wrote: Friday 22nd July
Today there has been a lot of activity on the nest. Earlier on there were two jays on the nest thought to be an adult and a chick. The chicks have been coming back and forth. ZP (the stay at home bird) has spent most of his day on the nest. At one point in the afternoon all three chicks were on the nest. There has been a lot of calling in the vicinity.
For ZP, the day has been a bit of a 'hokey kokey' because he has been in and out but not shaking it all about. When the nest is empty you can hear the family calling in the distance and when ZP is on the nest you can here them replying to his constant calling. Unluckily for ZP there hasn’t been a fish delivered to the nest so he is probably quite hungry so that explains the calling. At the moment he has been flapping about and has just left probably to be back soon. The female is probably thinking about leaving for Africa in two or three weeks time. At the moment mid afternoon seems to be the best time to come to visit the centres.

Thank you to Alasdair and we hope he will write for us when he is on duty again.

Three fledged chicks

The osprey chicks are doing extremely well, they are now confidently flying and are sometimes away from the nest for quite some time getting to know the area, trying out their flying techniques and no doubt having some hunting lessons from their expert father.
Yesterday, all three chicks arrived back at the nest and were screeching and calling excitedly for about 45 minutes. It was clear that they were hungry and an adult was nearby with a fish. Their father must have been sitting in a nearby tree top feeding himself and they wanted his fish!
Eventually the male adult flew down to the nest amongst his squabbling youngsters and gave up the remains of his dinner. Some squabbles ensued but eventually all three chicks were full and settled down.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

All chicks now fully fledged.

The third chick is now finally flying. All three chicks will use the nest as base camp for a while yet as they practice honing their flying skills. The parents are still around and Dad is bringing fish to the nest for the young chicks to feed. Soon they will begin to attempt hunting techniques and Dad will oversee their training until he is confident to leave them to fend for themselves.
At times the nest may be empty but when the chicks are hungry they will head to the nest and call for food. It is at this time of year when other ospreys sometimes take a visit to the nest site to check it out while the family are away. Last year, late in the season a white leg ringed adult, with the letters HC appeared at the nest site and began moving sticks around and scraping out the bottom of the nest. He was a bird from another nest in the Tweed Valley that had been ringed as a chick back in 2007 and this was most likely his first return since fledging.
Hopefully, he has returned again, found a partner and set up a nest of his own. Who knows, perhaps he has reared young of his own for the first time this year.
This is a good time of year to spot young ospreys and adults flying around the area. If anybody spots coloured leg numbers that they can read, please let us know and we can find out about the birds spotted.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Two chicks flying now!

Two osprey chicks are now flying but the third is reluctant to go. There is some reluctant and half hearted wing flapping but he doesn't look convinced that flying from the nice, cosy nest is agood thing!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

more ringing pictures


Ringing pictures





Glentress wildwatch

The wildwatch room has live ospreys and highlights from previous years. There are live cameras on to the bird feeders and ponds, which are showing great views of woodland birds and a female mallard having a good soak.
Outside the newly landscaped area has been seeded with wildflower mixes and the whole area is ablaze with birds foot trefoil, vetches, clovers and oxe-eye daisies. The flowers are attracting butterflies and bees and look tremendous as well as serving the invertebrate population well for nectar.
One of the volunteers at the centre on duty, spotted a hummingbird hawk moth in the wild watch room as it flew in through the window and then back outside.

Herons.

The heron cam at Kailzie has revealed that the final heron chick has died. Of the three chicks in this nest all three have now died, the first was killed by its siblings and subsequently eaten by them. The other two never appeared to be very active although were growing so must have been getting some food from their absentee parents, one has been found dead below the tree that they nest in as well as the one dead in the nest.

Buzzard visit

The three big chicks were in the nest when an adult sitting in a branch close by began alarm calling, the smaller two chicks instantly lay flat in the nest and shielded their fish. One of the chicks boldly sat at the edge of the nest to survey any drama, the adult male was seen to take off and all the chicks sat back up into a more relaxed position.
A short while later a buzzard was heard flying around the nest and calling loudly, the chicks did not flatten back down and the adult returned. There was no alarm call and the buzzard sounded very close by but did not seem to be perceived as a threat.

Maiden flight of first fledged chick 6th July

The first chick to brave a maiden flight left the nest yesterday at 3.40pm. After much wing stretching and flapping the chick took off and was away for 1 hour and 40 minutes before returning and landing on a branch to the side of the nest. Today the chick is confidently coming and going from the nest. The other two have yet to trial out their wings on any proper flights.
The male brought in a good sized fish at lunch time and was left calling for the female to feed them, she declined and so he took to the task himnself. This is the first sign of the female backing away from duties towards the youngsters as she lessens the attachment. She will be the first to break up the family and return to Africa. The family will remain together through the summer until they are all confidently flying and hunting. The nest will still be in use as a delivery post for passing fish to the youngsters and the young birds will hang around at the nest site waiting for parents to bring food.

Osprey successes and losses

Four nests in the Scottish Borders have so far been visited by the licenced ringers Tony Lightley and his team. Three have been successful and have raised chicks but the fourth nest sadly has failed. It has probably been due to the very wet weather which has made it difficult for the adult birds to fish. The adults were still holding the territory but sadly they are too late to raise a brood this year.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Osprey Ringing 27th June

The chicks in the main nest for tweed Valley Osprey Project were ringed on 27th June. The three chicks are really big and very nearly ready to leave the nest. Conservation Manager and licensed ringer Tony Lightley and Ringer Ronnie Graham ringed the chicks. Each was given a unique BTO metal ring and they were given Large dark blue Darvic rings with white letters ZN, ZP and ZR and all 3 chicks were thought to be male.
A further nest of osprey chicks will be ringed on Friday 1st july and photos will be posted on to the blog afterwards.

Saturday 25th June

Chicks looking like fully feathered, adult-sized birds now with large wings flapping a lot of the time, really building up those muscles now. When the youngsters are flapping their wings, they are holding on to the nest so as to not take off! All 3 were walking about the nest this morning with no adult on the nest, but as always most likely that one of them is nearby. Mum came and sat on the nest at 10:30 and all the chicks are having a snooze. Both parents were on the nest at 11:00, with Mum on the nest and Dad perched on the branch to the left hand side. Chicks were still snoozing.
Heron parent was back again today at 14:00 to feed the youngsters.

Thursday 23rd June and Friday 24th June

Tony Lightley from Forestry Commission, (Conservation Manager) went to check the nest today to see when the chicks would be ready to ring. They also tried to re-position the camera for a better view of the nest and the rapidly growing chicks.
Woodpecker was around a lot today, probably because it’s been quite quiet on the people front.
Friday 24th June Chicks are looking big and healthy with plenty of fish being fed to them. Lots of stretching going on, particularly by one of the chicks, assumed to be the older one. Female has spent most of the day on and around the nest, being a good Mum as usual. Chicks have been preening and also moving sticks around the nest – practicing nest maintenance for later on in life! They have been lazing in the nest after being fed, stretching out their large, fully feathered wings. Huge fish brought by Dad at 14:45 (still alive at first!) Mum fed herself first and then the chicks. At 16.20 Mum left and soon came back with a wide stick that she proceeded to try and put down in the nest, instead putting it on one of the chick’s backs. The chick wasn’t happy and had to get up to shake it off!
Parent bird seen on the heron nest today at 14:30, feeding his or her chicks with what looked like a whole regurgitated fish and other treats!
The feeders have been very busy today with the nuthatch and greenfinches making many appearances, the pheasant was also back.

Tuesday 21st June

Mum spent most of the day sheltering the chicks from the weather – the chicks can just about fit their heads under her but not much more! Only 1 fish brought in by Dad during the day, seems as though the rain was causing him problems when trying to fish.

Monday 20th June

The ospreys are looking much happier today, with much nicer weather and the chicks have been preening, stretching and moving around the nest. Dad brought in a fish at 11.30, without having eaten any of it and passed it over to Mum. Mums doing a bit of re-arranging in the nest, moving sticks around after feeding the chicks.
Herons are looking much more lively today, stand up and stretching and moving around the nest. Not huddled up in a miserable looking ball as they usually do!
Great spotted woodpecker visited the feeders
New camera has been put up on a swallow’s nest. Looks like the female is sitting on something, probably eggs, and she can be seen leaving and coming back. We’ll keep an eye on the action there too

Monday, 20 June 2011

Sunday 19th June

Female on the nest with the 3 chicks who are now stretching and flapping their wings to build up some flight muscles – only about 3 weeks to go before usual fledging age! Male came in with a fish at 11.00 and stayed on the nest while the female fed the chicks. Male disappeared again, presumably to hunt for some more food! Then, successful again, dad brings in a fish at 13.30 - we have some very well fed chicks! The nest had some small visitors – small birds, including great tits, coal tits and a few chaffinches. They seemed to be looking for insects probably attracted to the remnants of fish. Next thing we know, there’s something over the nest and mum is very unhappy again, she was calling and trying to chase off the intruders, seemingly without success. This went on for over an hour! Only 2 hours later and the male is back again with another fish showing his amazing hunting skills and ability to look after his family! Chicks are eager as ever to be fed and mum takes charge. Dad moves off to perch just off the side of the nest and watch over his feeding family. Once the chicks finished feeding they all tried to burrow in to mum to get away from the rain even though they’re much too big and have their adult feathers! Dad has left again and mum moves to the edge of the nest to do some preening and get away from her wanting chicks. Everyone is quite relaxed on the nest and content having being fed once more. It rained for virtually the whole afternoon, unhappy birds and people alike!
Variety of birds on the feeders outside; siskins, chaffinches, dunnocks on the ground, blue tits, great tits....and 2 nuthatches!
Saturday 18th June
The male brought in a fish at about 11.45 and passed it over to the female to feed her and the chicks. All the chicks seemed satisfied and settled down in the nest to digest their meal! The male stayed around the nest for a long time, perching up to the left then flew off to catch some more fish. Between 16.00-16.20 the female was still on the nest but she seemed very unhappy about something nearby, possibly a crow seeming interested in what was going on. She was calling out to whatever it may have been, with her wings lowered and flapping. At about 16.50 it started to rain and the female moved over to the chicks to shelter them with her wings. The male came back once more with a fish at 17.00, having eaten the head for himself and passing it over to the female to do her duty!

Friday, 17 June 2011

A surprise visitor



The osprey watch had another unusal visitor yesterday, as a little fledgeling robin flew into the fishery next door. Jimmy from the fishery brought it over to the osprey centre to find out what it was and to see if it was alright. It was a bit stunned so we put it in the artificial osprey nest outside the building to allow it time to recover and fly off.
The osprey chicks are doing very well, the male brought a feast of fish to the nest and the female fed the raw trout to each individual chick until they were full and sleepy.
The heron chicks are looking huge and glum. A visit from one of the parents did little to raise any activity from them but the parent seemed satisfied that they were ok and left them to continue their treetop trance.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Chicks are growing up.

The three osprey chicks are really growing up in to fine healthy young birds now. The two older chicks have the characteristic stripey heads and are bigger than the youngest one.
It has been a busy time for the parents and despite the horrendous weather this summer has brought for the Tweed Valley, the male bird still manages to bring in plenty of fish .
The herony cam shows such a contrast in the two species lifestyles, the heron parents are very much more indifferent towards their chicks it seems. The parents rarely ever sit on the nest with their young and they have to huddle together for warmth and are never sheltered by the parents. We never see the young chicks being fed and as they are growing can only conclude that they get an early meal prior to cameras being swithched on.
Ospreys by comparison are so very attentive to their little ones and shield them from weather and any likely threats of danger.
The blue tits have now fledged and the other nest cams have no residents. One box has been visited by a grey squirrel and also a great tit. We will be keeping a look out for any other likely nests for cameras to capture second broods.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Daylight - Bat visit

To the surprise of visitors at the Opsrey Watch on Friday, a bat flew in through the front door and flew round and round the centre. We think it was a Daubentons bat due to it's size and our close proximity to the fishery ponds, where it is most likely to hunt.
It was very exciting to see this wonderful bat so close up, volunteers and visitors alike were thrilled.
Ospreys and chicks continue to thrive, the smallest chick is just a tiny head compared to the older siblings but with plenty of fish being brought in the littlest one should soon catch up.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Third Osprey Chick hatched today!

We are delighted to let you all know that our third osprey chick hatched today.
There always seems to be something happening when osprey volunteer Arthur, is on duty, he has just spotted the third tiny head reaching up to its parents for food, when osprey Dad brought a fish in.
This brings the number of chicks raised by this pair, to 20 in total, since 2004. They are certainly doing their bit for the conservation effort!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

osprey progress

The two chicks are doing remarkable well, the male bird brought in two fish within a couple of hours of each other today. Two little heads on wobbly necks reached up to mum for a good feed on both occasions.

ITV came to film at the centre today and we will be on Border ITV News about the Tweed Vallley Osprey Project.

The Herons still have two chicks, the parent bird was there on the nest but we have not witnessed the chicks being fed. One of the chicks from an earlier nest has been found dead and there was no flesh on the bird , it appeared to have starved.
A difficult season for the herons.

The blue tits are still doing very well and are growing fast.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Two osprey chicks!

Two osprey chicks have been seen and the female was removing eggshell from the nest. We are hoping that there is another egg, as the birds keep moving something about, after feeding the chicks, which we hope is another egg. She appears to be continuing to incubate, rather than just shelter her youngsters. These are possibly, the first osprey chicks in Scotland this year. Congratulations to Wales, with the earliest record ever, for osprey hatching in the UK (9th May). If our main nest birds have 3 chicks this year, that will bring them to the grand total of 20 chicks raised since 2004.

Osprey parents could teach heron parents a lesson or two on parenting skills!



Herons are not doing well, with this cold, wet spring. The early April warm weather must have been a bonus for the early nesters in the heronry but the later ones are struggling in this wet weather.

Blue tits are doing well and are the cutest, if not the ugliest chicks ever!!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

First chick has hatched

The first osprey chick has hatched today. The female was seen removing egg shell from the nest and peering down to feed the youngster. The nest is still built up with sticks around the edges, so we do not yet know how many eggs there are or even how many chicks have hatched but there is at least one.

The brand new heron HD cam is now showing live pictures from the nest in the heronry. There has been great drama with the parent birds choosing to remain absent through some very bad, wet, spring weather. The cold chicks set upon the youngest one in the nest and viciously attacked it, repeatedly stabbing the chick on the head and neck. It was not seen in the nest today and so we presume that it has died. The parent bird stayed with the young today and they appeared to be more settled.

The blue tits on blue tit cam, now have 6 young in the nest.

A grey squirrel climbed into the open fronted nest box and deposited an acorn!
All the nests are live on camera in Kailzie Gardens Osprey Watch.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Blue tit Tragedy

The blue tit nest cam has been raided by an invader!
The entrance hole had been enlarged and a chunk of the wooden fascia ripped off. The nest had been scraped and all the eggs scattered and rolled about, seven of the eggs are missing.
This was the scene when osprey watch volunteer Arthur turned up for duty 2 days ago. Thankfully, Arthur quickly swung into action to save the blue tit from further peril. He took a metal nest hole cover from an unsused nest and took the broken front from the stricken box, repaired it with a chunk of wood and secured the metal plate on to the front of the hole. He loaded the scattered eggs back into the nest cup and the distraught little bird returned immediately and settled to incubate the remaining clutch.
At first we accused the grey squirrel of the dastardly deed but then a great spotted woodpecker launched attack number 2 but the metal plate has so far prevented further plunder.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Blue tits

The blue tit cam is relaying stunning images of the little parent nestled down in the nest incubating her eggs. It was at first thought that there are 8 eggs in the nest but when she turned them earlier today, up to 11 were counted and possibly more!

osprey dates

The incubation period for osprey eggs is approximately 37 days long. The pair at this nest seem to have an incubation period of around 39 days and we think that the first egg was laid on 5th April which means that hatching at the very earliest date could be 11th May but more likely from Friday 13th May. It has been an uneventful incubation period so far with both parents appearing relaxed and settled. This pair are in their 8th year nesting and raising a family together and little ruffles their experienced feathers!

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Ospreys and Blue tits

The ospreys are keeping their clutch size a close guarded secret this year! The way they have built up the nest to secure their eggs means that we cannot see into the nest, to determine the number of eggs. We are guessing between 2-3 but it will be a nice surprise once hatching occurs. Viewing into the nest once chicks hatch, will not be a problem, because once hatched the parents stand at the nest edges in order to reach in and feed the young and it is at this stage that the nest flattens out and becomes a flat platform. We will be able to see right in and view the chicks very clearly. It is estimated that hatching will occur in the third week of May.

The blue tit female in the nestcam at Kailzie has finished laying eggs and today she sat down to begin incubation. The male was bringing lovely caterpillar and spider treats in for her to eat and as this nest now has live sound, it was so lovely to hear the interaction between the couple as food is passed to the expectant mum.

Heron Ringing































The heron chicks from two nests in the heronry at Kailzie were ringed today by Tony Lightley, Ronnie Graham and with assistance from his son Ewan.


Three nests have chicks, two of the nests held chicks old enough and big enough to be ringed and one nest had tiny youngsters which were too small to be ringed.


Tony climbed the Scots Pine trees and sent the chicks down to the ground in a bag on ropes. The chicks were then each fitted with a unique BTO ring with serial number. Volunteers from Tweed Valley Osprey Project attended and enjoyed seeing the young chicks close up for the first time.











Saturday, 23 April 2011

Heron cam

The heron nest on camera has revealed 4 large chicks in the nest. They are growing up very fast. The bird ringers (Tony Lightley and Ronnie Graham), will be ringing the chicks on Saturday 30th April at 3pm. Visitors are welcome to come along and watch, there will be a charge of £3 per person towards project costs.
Please ring Kailzie Gardens on 01721 720007 to book a place.
Each chick will be fitted with a unique leg ring carrying an identification number. The records will be sent to The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). The birds will wear the rings permanently and at the end of their life, if the corpse is found, the ring number can be sent to BTO and they can check records of where the bird was ringed and what age it was when it died. This research helps to find out about how species such as herons disperse and how long they live for.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Windows on Wildlife update

The centre at Kailzie has five more nests on camera. So far, the blue tits have taken up residence in one nest box with a super new camera with sound in it. The birds have been busy building the nest up, another blue tit has been seen taking some of the moss out. Is this blue tit burglary or a domestic between the partners disputing the quality of the final nesting decor?
No eggs yet but the birds are very busy building up the nest.
The live heronry cam is showing great views of the treetop nests, the main heron nest we have the camera on has two very strong and healthy chicks already and their heads can be seen bobbing about and stubby wings are used as arms to scramble around the nest.
The other three nest cams are all still vacant and we are hoping for some summer migrants such as spotted flycatchers to take up residence once they arrive from Africa.

Osprey Update

The ospreys are very settled into their incubation duties. As always our male bird is a super partner and takes plenty of turns at incubating the clutch to allow the female to go off and stretch her wings and feed away from the nest.
The new camera is really wonderful and the live images are crystal clear with the sounds of the forest also relayed back to the centre. We can clearly hear chaffinches singing their territory refrains close by. The ospreys are often vocal to each other at nest sitting swap over times too.
We cannot see into the egg cup yet as the nest is too deep, so it will be a nice surprise to find out how many eggs she has laid.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Confirmed Egg in the nest!

The parents have been incubating since 7th April; they have built the nest up quite high and created a nice deep egg cup for the precious cargo. Great for osprey incubation but not so great for us osprey spies in the centre! We cannot see how many eggs have been laid but a keen volunteer could see at least one egg on view.

The parents are white leg ring male SS and the unringed female partner. They have been together at this nest site since 2004 and are superb parents. They don't waste time - on arrival back from migration they get straight down to the business of mating, and egg laying. Rangers from the commission very kindly renovate their nest site for them during their absence, so that when they do return, they find their nest in pristine condition, spring cleaned and ready to go. Little do they know how the storms and snow tear their summer home to pieces during the winter months!

Kailzie Gardens is the only Tweed Valley osprey centre open for now - Glentress will be opening shortly. Kailzie also has live cameras on 5 more nests, with herons, and blue tits in occupation already and the other three nest boxes with vacant signs over the entrance holes.

Friday, 8 April 2011

New Season 2011

The osprey centres in the Tweed Valley will be opening shortly. Kailzie Gardens Osprey Watch will open on Sunday 10th April. Glentress wildwatch room, as part of the new development at Glentress Peel will open in a few weeks time. The main nest ospreys are back already we are unsure about their actual arrival date as the cameras where not switched on but as of yesterday it appears that an egg has been laid already. They don't waste time, this pair! New technology this year means that images received from the nest are in stunning high definition.