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.