Satellite tagging the Loch Garten chicks

I went off early to Loch Garten to ring this year’s young at the RSPB nest and to fit satellite transmitters to the two larger young for Richard Thaxton, the site manager. After several very hot days, it was a cool grey morning when we walked out to the famous nest. I decided to ring the smallest chick at the base of the tree so that it could be then put back in the nest, so that the female could return to the eyrie trees. The two larger chicks were taken back to the osprey centre, where I ringed and measured them, and then fitted the satellite transmitters, exactly the same as last year. It was great to see such well fed young, after the trials and tribulations of earlier in the season, when first of all the male became tangled in nylon fishing line, and then for a short time he stopped bringing fish to the nest. It was a stressful time for the staff at Loch Garten and on both occasions my advice to them was to wait and see – and both times the problem went away. The three chicks were females, weighing between 1646 and 1790 grams. After the radios were fitted the two chicks were replaced in the nest to join their younger sibling. Here’s hoping they have a successful migration to West Africa.

Richard Thaxton and me holding the chicks (RSPB photo)