As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 27 May 2013

First osprey chicks appearing across the country

Worrying incident as nest robber is disturbed
May 2013. Osprey chicks have been appearing across the UK in the last week, and, amazingly, more osprey eggs too. We think the first chicks to hatch were, as usual, in north Wales, at the Glaslyn Osprey project. Amazingly, just a few miles down the road, the Cors Dyfi ospreys have laid their first egg of the season and it's one of the latest eggs ever laid by an osprey in the UK. Plentiful chicks have hatched in Rutland and more are on the way, but, worryingly, it appears that an egg collector tried to rob an osprey nest on the Threave Estate in Scotland.

At least 6 chicks have already hatched at Rutland Water, the spiritual home of ospreys in England, and there are two more nests yet to produce. More about Rutland Water Nature Reserve.

Lake District
A Pair of ospreys have nested again in the Lake District, and eggs have been laid.

Loch of the Lowes - Remarkable ‘Lady' lays 4 eggs!
The veteran osprey, known as ‘Lady' has laid 4 eggs this year. She didn't lay her first until later than usual, and there were concerns that perhaps she was infertile, but she has confounded everyone by laying 4 eggs. Read how to see the ospreys at the Loch of the Lowes wildlife reserve

Boat of Garten - 4 eggs
The regular pair at the Boat of Garten are also incubating 4 eggs. More about Loch Garten

Tweed Valley ospreys - First Scottish chick
A pair of ospreys in the Tweed Valley have hatched what is believed to be the first Scottish Osprey chick of the year, and have two more eggs as well.

Threave ospreys - Egg collector scared off!
Unbelievable as it is in this day and age, it appears that an egg collector was disturbed whilst trying to raid the osprey nest on the Threave Estate. A man in tree climbing gear was disturbed by a member of the public near the nest - Read more

Osprey egg snatch thwarted on Threave Estate
Threave Estate provides a safe haven for many species of birds, mammals and insects. The estate covers some 1500 acres and contains a wide range of habitats, including farmland, woodland, marshes and a two mile stretch of the River Dee. Osprey nest watch now in place
May 2013. Countryside Rangers from conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland are keeping a 24 hour watch on the Threave Estate's ospreys after a suspected attempt to steal the nesting birds' eggs.
On the evening of Monday 20 May, a member of the public who happened to be in the area spotted a man in full climbing gear and rig making for the ospreys' tree top nesting platforms. After a shouted challenge the man ran away. Later, fresh vehicle tracks were found in the vicinity. The incident was reported to the police.

Ospreys have nested here since 2007
The site has been host to ospreys each year since 2007, when the Trust's countryside staff, in conjunction with arboriculturalist Ciril Ostroznik, first erected nesting platforms as part of a conservation project. Success came in 2009 when eggs were laid and successfully hatched.

Although located on private land, the platforms are viewed from the National Trust for Scotland's Threave Estate near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway.

Tom Hall, the Trust's Osprey Ranger for Threave said: "This was a close shave. Thanks to the vigilance and initiative of a member of the public the ospreys' nest has been left undisturbed. Loss of the eggs would have been a disaster for osprey conservation - a raid on the nest may have discouraged breeding pairs from returning to Threave in the future.

Osprey watch to keep them safe
"Thanks to the warped and selfish minds of people who collect rare birds' eggs, there is a thriving black market and this is probably what led to this contemptible attempt to reach the nesting platform. Having notified the police, we have arranged a rota of staff and volunteers to keep a constant watch on the nest over the next two to three weeks until such time as the eggs hatch. If anyone makes another attempt to raid the nest, they will be caught."

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