Friday, 26 April 2013

One, Two, Three Osprey Eggs!

The ospreys now have three eggs and the season looks set to be on course for early chicks again this year.

Our ospreys acan be viewed live via our camera viewing
Our ospreys acan be viewed live via our camera viewing
facilities at our two Wildwatch centres at Kailzie Gardens
and Glentress
  This is in contrast to the lateness of all of our other breeding birds which have been delayed by the poor spring weather.

The ospreys are doing their shared incubation duties at their tree top eyrie, they are very territorial at their nest site and will not tolerate other ospreys coming too close. They defend their site rigorously with posturing and flights to scare off any unwelcome ospreys in the vicinity. Other ospreys often will pop over to have a look at other sites in the area, known affectionately as ‘buzzing’ the nest. Often, it is just harmless nosiness but the territorial pair need to safe-guard that it is not a serious attempt at site stealing.

The female osprey has been hunkered down deep into the cup of the enormous nest to keep her eggs safe in the high winds while the male continues to bring in fish. The weather has meant that the main rivers such as the Tweed have been in ‘spate’ and too difficult to hunt from but he seems to have secured a good loch from which to provide a steady supply of fish.
Heron nest with eggs
Two heron eggs
The herons have only just laid their eggs and the nest that is on camera now has two beautiful bright blue eggs with a very proud mum. When she laid her first egg, volunteers on duty at the Kailzie Gardens Osprey and Nature Watch Centre, watched and said that she stood up and peered down below and seemed surprised at the sight of an egg there. The herons are very late nesting this year and would normally have chicks by now. But the lateness does not seem to have hampered their progress in any way as mum appears to be in fine breeding condition and is settled at the nest site and has begun to incubate. They nest in a heronry, a colonial nest site with other family groups. Sometimes the female will leave the nest and take a flight to the flooded pasture to forage for food. We have been able to follow this activity on the meadow camera.

The jackdaws have taken up residence in the owl box at Glentress and this can be seen in the Wildwatch room in the Peel Centre, on the windows on wildlife cameras. They now have 5 eggs, which will take up to 18 days to incubate. It will be fun to watch the antics of this lively little family on camera over the next few weeks.

The pond camera in Kailzie has revealed that the frogs have left masses of frogspawn and the pond camera at Glentress which was showing lots of toads in the water now has long strings of toadspawn on the rocks. This will be interesting to watch as the spawn develops and the little tadpoles break out and become free swimmers.

More volunteers are needed to help to staff the two centres and if anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer please get in touch with Tweed Valley Osprey Project Officer, Diane Bennett by email on

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