Checking nests

I checked 15 osprey nests in Badenoch & Strathspey and West Moray today and all were intact – they had withstood the gales but two had failed. I found eggshell under one of the nests and I think they may have failed with small chicks due to heavy rains and very poor conditions for male ospreys to catch fish. In these conditions chicks get cold and wet and sometimes die. The other nest probably failed because of heavy rain and winds, and an annoying branch above the nest which would have been hitting the incubating female.

In the morning, along with hundreds of other people, I was on the main street in Forres, my local town, to witness the last march past by RAF Kinloss. The three squadrons which flew Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft are being disbanded this month – it’s a very sad time for Forres and Moray. It was also a time to remember the great help that these aircraft and their crews gave to the projects to successfully reintroduce white-tailed eagles and red kites to the British Isles. To remember people, who are no longer with us, like Flight Lieutenant Steve Rooke, who so often organised the RAF input, and Morton Boyd of the Nature Conservancy. The flights from Boda in Norway with the young Sea Eagles, after the RAF had finished their exercises over the northern seas, or from Malmo with young red kites from Sweden are remembered fondly.

RAF Kinloss march past in Forres, May 24th