Thursday, 30 April 2015

The end

This blog is no longer active. For updates, please visit The Aberfoyle Osprey Project. Thanks!

Monday, 10 June 2013

Chicks Galore at Aberfoyle!

New arrivals in the Aberfoyle osprey nest
New arrivals in the Aberfoyle osprey nest

Three osprey chicks have made an appearance live on camera and are already growing up fast. The first chick hatched on Thursday 30 May, bang on the 38 day incubation period. The second chick eventually hatched four days later on Sunday 2 June, quickly followed by the third chick on Tuesday 4 June.

The chicks are being cared for by their parents, Katrine and Drunkie. The female osprey Katrine is nine years old, whilst the age of her mate Drunkie is unknown. Both birds have been named after local lochs where ospreys are regularly spotted fishing.

Last year this adult pair successfully raised two out of three chicks, so this should mean another good year for the ospreys. Now that the chicks have hatched it’s time to bring in the fish to feed their hungry youngsters! 

The male is living up to his reputation of being excellent at fishing, having recently brought in a huge rainbow trout for the female and chicks to feast on. This year we’re monitoring the types of fish being brought to the nest. To date the majority of the fish has been rainbow trout, followed by perch.

Our peregrine chicks
Our peregrine chicks

A peregrine falcon family is also being watched with our cameras. Three chubby peregrine chicks are being fed several times and they’re putting on weight fast. In about 2 weeks time these chicks will fledge.

We’re getting daily reports from the public of hunting ospreys and peregrines. With hungry mouths to feed, this is your best chance to see these magnificent birds of prey. There’s such an abundance of wildlife within a few minutes walk of the David Marshall Lodge – an assortment of warblers have returned, and close to the Wildlife Hide there are red squirrels, bank voles and a variety of woodland birds.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Ospreys Return to Aberfoyle as the drama unfolds

Aberfoyle’s ospreys have returned to begin a new season, and there have already been clashes over ownership of the birds’ huge nest.

Ospreys at the nestThis year’s drama started in early April when the first female returned and quickly found a partner. Together they set about improving the nest, bringing in branches and soft nesting material, while the male regularly brought in fish.

But soon the birds’ behaviour changed from being a relaxed couple preparing to start a family, to a pair defending their home from an intruder.

Aberfoyle ospreys at the nest
When the pair on the nest began spreading their wings it became clear they were trying to put off another bird from flying too close. Sure enough a third osprey was spotted a short time later.

Overnight the new osprey displaced the original female and it looks like she has now paired up with the male! We’re hoping to identify these birds soon and then we’ll know how old they are and where they were hatched.

While a momentary calm has now decended, the drama may well not be over. The female should start laying any day now. There's still time for other ospreys to invade and claim the nest and her mate!

The ospreys can be viewed live inside the Mini-Lodge at The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre (David Marshall Lodge), which is open 7 days a week from 10am til 5pm.

Monday, 6 August 2012

We have lift off!!

Strathard News - July 2012

 As many other osprey sites are reporting both of our osprey chicks have left the next. The oldest made their first flight on the 22nd July and sticking with tradition the next chick left on the 24th July, 48 hours after the first, exactly the same amount of time between them hatching!

We have seen both chicks on numerous occasions returning to the nest to receive food from both male and female. It won't be long before all of this years osprey family are on their way to West Africa for winter.

In other news, our ospreys, who are already in celebrities in our eyes, have become local icons by appearing on the front cover the of the Strathard News. Regular project updates features in the paper, but it is great to see, this striking images by volunteer Annette Reed making the front cover.  

Monday, 16 July 2012

Introducing Tony and Tia Maria!

Well we can confidently say that over the last few weeks the weather has not been great, but on Friday 13th July things weren’t looking to bad. Just about the perfect weather to go ringing ospreys. Our three osprey chicks had now become two, as due to the menacing weather we have unfortunately lost our youngest chick.

Gently does it. Both chicks are carefully loaded into a
bag to be lowered down the tree. 

Our chicks were now six weeks old and it was time for them to have their individual leg rings fitted. As we climbed the tree the heavens open, fortunately this was short lived so the chicks didn’t get too wet. Once both chicks were lowered to the ground, Dave Anderson (FCS Conservation Manager) was on hand to show how the leg rings are fitted to some of our volunteers, who had been specially invited as thanks for all the hard work they put in at DML.

Firstly, two leg rings are fitted, a blue plastic one called a Darvic, this year the chicks were fitted with blue ring TM and TN and a metal BTO ring. Both rings will be used in the future to help identify the birds both on migration to West Africa and when they hopefully return to the Trossachs in a few years time. Once this is complete the chicks are weighed and measurements taken and this confirmed that we had a boy and a girl! Because of this the volunteers decided that we should call our chicks Tia Maria and Tony.

Tia Maria all done, with both leg rings fitted.
 Tony and Tia Maria will fledge once they are seven weeks old, when they will begin to build up strength before setting off on migration at about 12 weeks old. 

Introducing the 2012 Osprey Chicks - Tony & Tia Maria

Friday, 13 July 2012

Buzzard is a Go-Go....

For the last few weeks we have watched our single Buzzard chick very quickly grow up and also battle with a range of Scottish weather! The chick which was tagged a few weeks ago as Purple/White 29 was one of a two chicks but unfortunately the second chick died only a few days of hatching.

This video clip is the last footage we have of the chick! It looks like Mum is giving it one last clean before it leaves!

We wish the chick Good Luck and will hopefully spot it around the Trossachs soon.

In other news on Friday 13th, we will be fitting the leg rings to our remaining two osprey chicks. This can be viewed live on camera from the David Marshall Lodge Visitor Centre from around 11.30am.

For those of you that don’t know we lost out youngest chick last week, we believe due to the wet weather that we have been experiencing over the last few weeks.

Also, just to let you know that we are currently experiencing problem with live streaming our HD Osprey camera over the web, so for the time being we are bringing you one of our red squirrel feeders. So why not sit back to a cuppa and see if you can spot on the those red fluffy creatures or maybe even a elusive pine marten! It can be viewed at:

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Chicks galore at David Marshall Lodge Wildlife Watch!

buzzard with chick
New buzzard chicks head just visible above the nest
 It's all go at the Wildlife Watch at David Marshall Lodge. First we had a buzzard chick hatch yesterday and if that wasn't enough, a second appeared today. Not to be outdone, our ospreys also got in on the act with a chick hatching this morning!

On our live cameras here at DML the osprey mother has been seen giving her new arrival it's first feed with some freshly caught rainbow trout.

Meanwhile in the buzzard nest, which is in close proximity to the visitor centre, the new family are settling in, mum is female A9 whilst dad who is untagged, is doing a great job bringing in fresh food for his young. It is possible there may be more eggs in the nest as mum is still showing signs of incubating, however we cannot be certain at this time.

We will keep you updated on the progress of our new arrivals and pictures of the chicks will be available via the FC Scotland Facebook page.