Excitement mounts as both VO (Gale) and V1 (Oscarina) look towards the skies (and everywhere else of course) and throw themselves into the gruelling ‘get fit’ regime that is essential if they want to succeed in going up the thermal elevator and not plummet ignominiously to the basement..
VO, being larger and stronger than V1 is inclined to take up the practice space, with wings that span well over a metre. He is developing the upper torso muscles with increasingly rapid flaps – V1 has to duck, weave and lie down at the bottom of the nest to avoid being slapped about the beak. Yesterday, after balletic hops back and forth across the width of the nest he managed a vertical jump with toes scraping the overhead camera, and then frantically scrabbling back to clutch onto sticks and safety.
V1 spends a lot of time staring hard at land marks around, working out distance and dimension.
Unring has been bringing up plenty of fish, often still with their heads on and pretty lively so that the chicks have a chance to subdue their prey in the safety of their own home – this one a nice pump perch.
Over the last few days we have been seeing a 3rd bird in the area which KL has screamed at and Unring has chased away. Maybe No 14? – but we have not been able to spot a ring number.