Ospreys in the snow

I’ve been monitoring ospreys this week and found by Friday that about three quarters of the pairs, in my main study area, had laid eggs and were incubating. It’s been good to see old friends back from Africa. Beatrice returned and chased away a young female which had taken over her nest. She allowed the new male to stay but almost immediately her old mate came back and drove him away. They’ve now been incubating for a week. In Strathspey, Blue XD and the old female Green J were building their nest when I checked on Tuesday and now they probably have eggs. The female at Red 8T’s eyrie was incubating early in the week but I didn’t see red 8T although from her behaviour I think he is also back. On Friday, I watched Morven on her new nest and close by was her mate from last year (now a six-year-old) and he was dealing with the front end of a very large flounder, he had caught in Findhorn Bay. Morven was giving him ever more querulous calls to hand it over. Back at her old nest the new young pair from last year, when they were non-breeders, are both back and building up the nest, although yesterday the female was being hassled by another male with a very nice trout. Today though has been completely different with snow falling all afternoon and about 3 inches at my home. As I write I can see a mistle thrush brooding a nest full of young in a tree below my window and she has kept them warm and dry all afternoon. I also found the time to go and have a look at Beatrice in the snow. Her nest wood was like a winter scene and her eyrie was completely covered in snow. Once I had my scope resting on the car window I could see the top of her head poking over the edge of the snowy nest. She had snuggled right down in the nest cup to keep her brood of eggs warm. I wonder how long she thought the snow would last? I checked the weather on my phone and knew that it was short lived and now as I update my blog the sun has come out and the snow is melting fast. I guess a typical spring day for ospreys in northern countries.

Beatrice's eyrie in the snow today

Beatrice’s eyrie in the snow today – top of head just showing top left