Chick Two slipped into the world just as it was getting dusk on May 31st. The day time protection team stayed on to make sure it as not just a wobbly little ghost in the bottom of the nest.
It followed quite quickly on its sibling’s heels – lay dates (April 23rd and April 26th) indicated it could hatch with up to three days difference but as we see in front of our eyes this does not always happen.
However, the third chick has read the hatching manual and decided to wait the three days (laid April 29th) and so has just hatched today at about 11.00 am, three days after the last one.
Chick watching is a wonder with the new cameras. Newly hatched they have all been wet, floppy and a rather unattractive shade of pinky-violet. They lie exhausted after all that chipping, with ragged egg shells crunching around them. KL has removed some of the shells, left some and today, eaten some.
However, over the next few hours the dank down strands dry off and the chick fluffs up like a tiny dandelion clock, with a repeating chime, calling out as its little stomach starts to feel the need for food. Interestingly, we saw One do a miniscule poop before it had been fed. In true osprey style it up-ended, with its beak buried in the moss, and fired -in a full 3cm curve. Presumably the gut is full of a kind of meconium that is voided as peristalsis begins.
Unring has been bringing in fish – the first were a headless perch and a river trout which KL carefully ripped into tiny pieces before feeding 2 or 3 mouthfuls to the squeaking chick.
They will certainly have their work cut out with three to look after.