It is with both dread and hope that we are switching on to the live webstream or big screens at Whinlatter this morning and wondering if the chick will be there or not. However, with a little head poking out from between KL’s feathers it seems like she and Unring have kept their one chick safe since the last attack.
There have been a lot of us that have had a weep about the situation. It seems such a waste of the tremendous effort that our birds have been to just to get to this stage. The long and hazardous migration, the nest building, the working out of a relationship, the development of excellent parenting skills, the fish caught, the care given, and three eggs out of three, all viable. Then out of the blue, before it has really started, the life created knocked out of play. According to osprey expert Roy Dennis, from all the records, he has not come across one in which magpies have learnt to become predators of ospreys. What a freak chance that ours should change that record.
And the tension is not over yet. The remaining chick is the eldest and biggest, but for another 4 or 5 days still vulnerable on account of its size. We cannot know if KL and Unring can sustain the level of protection needed.
Intellectually, we understand they are wild creatures in a wild natural environment and that these things happen, but being mortal and vulnerable ourselves, any death witnessed still stings.
But KL and Unring haven’t given up yet!