Over the last weeks the osprey family has been doing exactly as they should. KL, our adult female mother left in the middle of August for sunnier climes. This is normal as the female osprey, unlike many other birds of prey, does not take on the role of food provider as the chicks need her less on the nest. However, ever-adaptable, she may share the occasional fish she catches for herself. So, eventually redundant as a mother, she builds up her own condition and starts her journey back first.
Our juvenile U8 (Artagel) was the next to flit. He has always been the most forward of the chicks, fledging the nest a few days before his siblings and appearing to put some serious practice into fishing. His journey will be very different to his mother’s as he will have no idea where he is going or what lies ahead. Having satellite tracked other chicks it seems they try to roost near water every night and presumably attempt to fish, which depending on the stretch of water they have chosen, may or may not be successful.
U6, (Ulysses) our youngest, smallest and feistiest male, has left in the last week. He has been seen puttering about over the North end of Bassenthwaite Lake and it is to be hoped that in that time he actually caught a fish! There are no fish in the Sahara so he will have to make sure he keeps his body weight up before he attempts the crossing.
U7 (Elter) our female chick is still with us and as we have noticed with female chicks in the past she seems to have Dad wrapped around her little talon, particularly now there is no sibling competition. She has been very vocal in demanding food, and we have seen Unring pass over two enormous trout in the past couple of days. This is fine for building up her already not inconsiderable body weight, but is it conducive to her catching fish for herself? Ready or not though the urge to fly South may kick in at any day and she will be off, at which point Unring will probably breath a fishy sigh of relief!
It has been a grand achievement to successfully raise 3 such bonny looking chicks. We cross our own toes and talons that they will make it – but of course until some one reads and reports one of those blue rings we will never know!
The Project closes down today so no staff or telescopes will be on duty from tomorrow until next year. Watch this space though for further updates on our amazing satellite tracked bird No 14 – how will his 4th southward migration fare?