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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Bird watching

Just a wee update on Colin before I start.  On Tuesday morning before he was due to get out of hospital, his heart took a little irregular beat that caused a bit of commotion.  I had read on the internet of that type of thing sometimes happening a few days after surgery.  Apparently it’s quite common.  Anyway they got him sorted out but decided to keep him an extra night just to make sure everything was working properly.  So this afternoon I was able to go up and fetch him.  Despite the bravado, he was tired when he got home, and a lie-down was what he needed.  He’s wolfed down a good supper – no lost appetite there – and is now off to bed. Thanks, friends, for the good wishes.

huts, shop and cafe So, last week I went down to Glentress Forest to have lunch in the new cafeteria.  It’s a huge barn of a place, as I’ve said before.  I still preferred the old cafe in its two little Portacabins.   It’s gone now!  The mountain bikers in the forest as well as other visitors frequented it, and it had a lovely atmosphere.  My opinion for what it’s worth is that they should have kept that place for the cyclists and anyone else who wanted to use it and have another small cafe in the new building for those who want to use the visitor centre facilities, like the Osprey Watch.  It’s actually in a separate building, behind me as I took the photo of the shop and cafe,  Those funny little tent-like huts are overnight accommodation for cyclists.  After lunch I went to look at the cctv coverage of our local ospreys on their nest.  The nest is situated secretly “somewhere not too far away” up on top of a purpose built platform, with a camera trained on the nest and relayed back to two Tweeddale centres, the Glentress one, and one at Kailzie Gardens.

It was fascinating to watch.  mother osprey and camoflaged chiicks Mother Osprey was on the nest with her three quite large chicks, though they look very well camouflaged here.  They’re actually looking much more like the adult bird now, and were beginning to stretch their wings in preparation for fledging. Then suddenly there was a spot of activity from the four birds and father Osprey flew in from a loch somewhere, where it had caught a fish - a good sized brown trout – to feed to its family.osprey family     

It looks like there are four chicks, but the second from the left “head” isn’t a head at all! It’s actually the three toes of the mother bird!  She’s larger than the male. 

I took the photos of the cctv screen.  Not  brilliant shots but good enough to give you the idea!claw

It was an exciting moment when father flew in.  The female bird had first go at the fish, but the male didn’t stay long before he was off again, leaving mother to feed the young.mother osprey takes first go at the fish .

  Look at that beak! The claws are just as ferocious.  They lock onto the fish as it swims near the surface of the water, and can’t unlock till the bird comes to rest. 

Well,  talk again soon.


Peggy Ann said...

They are beautiful! our eagles are fledging and about to leave the nest.

Evelyn/Ev/Evee said...

How wonderful. The osprey chicks have about a moth to take to theskies. The mother will fly off to Africa as soon as the chicks have fledged and the father will hang around with thehicks for a while before he too sets off. The chicks will have learned all they have to learn in that time and will set off for Africa around thebeginning of August. I hope the return to the Scottish Borders next year.