Here are the latest HD highlights from the Foulshaw Moss osprey nest cameras. Thank you so much to all the people watching on the internet who have been letting us know what they have spotted. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing response. Its amazing to think there are so many people out there watching and getting involved. Its allowing me to build up a great archive of footage, as well as produce these videos.
The circle of life
Thankfully the eggs became easier to spot once the weather warmed up. The first egg to hatch could be seen frequently moving before the chick broke free, and the parents could obviously feel it and hear it. It took several hours for the chick to peck its way out, and this could also be seen on the webcam. This was on May 23rd, 38 days after we think it was laid.
The other 2 eggs hatched 2 and 4 days later. This was not so easy to see, as the parents unfortunately placed a large stick, nicknamed the privacy stick, across the camera's field of view.
Over the bank holiday weekend, with warm dry weather, the chicks fed well and appeared to be thriving. Then, on Bank Holiday Monday the third chick appeared to fall ill. It was looking lively before breakfast, but looked tired mid-morning. At lunchtime and all afternoon it lay hardly moving, and by evening looked dead.
What could have caused this? The camera footage doesn't show anything looking like a predator attack or an accident. It may have been an illness or even the hot weather. The chicks were left exposed in the sun several times that day, and were trapped hidden under Blue 35 for quite a long time when she was hiding them from another osprey repeatedly trying to land on the nest in early afternoon.
On Tuesday and Wednesday there was no sign of the third chick, but on Thursday morning Blue 35 removed its body from the nest. The remaining two appear well and are growing rapidly.
Again this year there are regular sightings of another pair of ospreys at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve. On 6th May a pair spotted in woodland on the reserve boundary included one apparently with an aerial visible on its back, suggesting it carries a transmitter used to track its movements.
Intruders at the nest have been reported by online osprey watchers on May 17th, 23rd, 25th, 30th and 31st, and there have been other reports from birdwatchers on site too, including records of them sitting on the vacant artificial osprey nest platform on the other side of the reserve.
These intruders appear to be a pair, and one of them is very persistent in trying to force his way onto the nest, as can be seen in the video. This bird is ringed, and the ring has been clearly identified as Blue CR6.
Foulshaw Moss osprey viewpoint is open to the public. We have just completed a new boardwalk to take you back in a circle from the viewpoint through the trees and pools. Access is free, but please consider making a small donation to help us keep protecting the habitats and providing the nest webcam.