For the past 48 hours action on the nest has quietly increased a little with KL taking more frequent comfort breaks rather than allowing her mate to incubate for any length of time and he in turn bringing in stick after stick – often as an excuse to try if he can have a quick 5 mins brooding. However, there were no real signs of eggs hatching.
But, today at about four o’clock KL’s behaviour changed dramatically. Ants in the pants, fleas in the basket, or even peas under the mattress do not adequately describe our princess’s action in the nest. From spending 36 sedate days with occasional turns of the eggs she was now wriggling, standing, sitting, hunkering down, turning around, jumping up as if being nettle stung, re-arranging her feet nearly continuously and over and again looking down between her legs. Sometimes it seemed like any chick that might be hatching would have only two choices – to be pummelled to death in a feather blanket of flailing breast feathers or rolling-pinned over by an unhatched egg!
For everybody watching on the CCTV it was just as exciting we also craned up and down trying to see between the interlaced sticks and grasses to what was happening on the floor of the cup – a glimpse of an eggshell, the flutter of a tiny body….. To no avail – Fred’s house design scuppered all our efforts.
So, we will just have to wait until tomorrow for the classic confirmation of a live chick – when hopefully, that first fish is torn into tiny shreds and KL dips her beak down into the nest to feed her offspring.
Photo – Windflowers on a Bassenthwaite bank – white as a flock of new-hatched ospreys.