Not a good day to be an osprey

Today has been a dreadful day of weather in Scotland – certainly not what we expect in May. After two weeks of cold westerly winds, with snow showers at times in the mountains, we have had an howling gale all day, with wind speeds up to 100 miles an hour reported in Scotland. Trees have been blown down and and wherever you walk there are torn off leaves and branches. In the afternoon, I had a look at my nearest osprey nest. The female was struggling to hang on in her eyrie at the top of a 120 foot high Douglas fir. The top of the tree was whipping around in the gusts and on top of that there were frequent heavy showers of chilling rain. I’m afraid the gale will have caused losses in the osprey population – probably some nests have been dislodged and the eggs lost. It’s also likely that some newly hatched young will die because of the rain and cold, and also there’s no doubt that the male ospreys will be having real troubles in catching enough fish in these very windy conditions to supply their families. I’m looking out of my office window at dusk watching the treetops swaying in the wind, and my thoughts turn to the breeding pairs of ospreys trying to hatch eggs or rear young out there in the cold. Let’s hope tomorrow brings better weather and we don’t find too many destroyed nesting attempts.