Mother and daughter

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The transition between child and adulthood is marked by the gradual assumption of independence, together with a diminishing need for parental support. Getting the balance right is a tricky business though! Over the past week Unring has been bringing fish directly to Bega on the nest, rather than waiting for KL, as she is now quite capable of subduing and eating a fish without help. Indeed, if KL turns up Bega has shown signs of being quite snappish towards her Mum and definitely hasn’t wanted to share the meal. However, as every teenager knows, there are times when being ‘grownup’ palls and a bit of TLC is needed.

So, here is KL feeding her big daughter on Wednesday for maybe the last time before becoming redundant as a carer for this season.

THE WEBSTREAM CLOSURE   Since then Bega is only visiting the nest once in a while to collect fish from Dad. Often she flies off to her comfortable perch amongst the alders to eat. She is spending her nights away as well. We will be switching off the webstreaming this weekend because the best place now to see her and her parents is from the telescopes on Dodd. At Whinlatter we will still be watching the wider area through the CCTV and have lots of footage of B’s miracle survival and amazing growth

First Flight

At sometime between dawn and 08.00 Bega definitively  flew out  the nest. She had been jumping up and down and had even managed to leap up onto the branch just above the camera once, but never did a proper flight previously. We shall have to see if she comes back regularly to feed at the nest or if she can wind Dad around her little talon and get him to bring the fish to her!

The Flapper

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                                                                    It looks easy!

7 weeks old and everything is coming together for Bega.

Soon she will be making her first flight and she has only two options then – fly or crash.

Muscles have to be well developed. Flapping work-outs and making jumps across the nest cup builds up stamina and coordination. Plumage is vital. Preening means every feather is fully functional. But her primary pinion feathers still fall short of covering her tail feathers. Determining some landing spots is a good idea.

Here is today’s diary from the Whinlatter screen – how close do you think she is to a first flight?

09.25 Bega on nest resting.

10.48 KL on nest eating small perch. Bega not interested.

11.45 Unring arrives with another small perch, all alive Oh and hopping around the nest. Bega stamps on it, kills it and eats it.

11.50 Unring leaves nest

11.55 KL leaves nest. Bega begins a session of vigorous flapping. She faces into the wind for lift and hangs onto the sticks with her talons to prevent actual lift off – then she lets go. OOo -errr! A jump upwards and backwards, landing on the far side of the nest.

12.05 KL arrives and departs. Bega resting.

12.40 KL arrives and departs.

KL arrives and eats fish tail. She feeds Bega some of it. KL departs

13.20 KL arrives with large stick. Bega helps put it in place.

14.15 Bega starts another session of fast flapping, jumping up at least 60 cm.

14.20  Bega really really wants to be going off the nest. She stares intently at the nearest branch of the tree and flaps deliberately as she shuffles closer and closer to the edge of the nest and then over the edge, sticks slipping into the void under her claws. At the last second she loses her nerve and scrabbles backwards.

15 28 Bega eats fish tail

16.00 Bega rests

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                                   But, not so easy as it looks!

Go on Sweet Bird

Whilst our Bouncing Babe was having her rings put on, what was her elder sibling doing?

Well, what he usually does – flying and flying and some more flying.

On the weekend of 25th and 26th June he was anywhere between Kendal and Millom.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday he was in the Eden Valley.

On Thursday and Friday he swept over the Border, around Moffat,

This Spa town  incidentally, also attracted Robbie Burns, although the waters he was interested in were to drink, rather than fish in, and comprised an effervescent mix of Sulphur and Iron washed down with beer! Of course, in 1788 Robbie might well have seen an osprey – and even been inspired, between burps, to write his one verse poem, ‘Go On Sweet Bird, and sooth my Care.’ Who knows?.

But without doubt our bird was flying on the wind near Kirkby Lonsdale on Saturday 2nd July, at 06.00,

and Sunday was back to the South Lakes.

A high mileage week – even for him!

The Old Sulphurous Well Moffat.                   Creative Commons Rosser 1954File:Moffat - Sulphurous Well.JPG