Good views come to those who wait

Osprey on nest. Cumbria Wildlife Trust

The hunt for #FoulshawOspreys eggs hidden deep in the nest

This year the ospreys at Foulshaw Moss nature reserve have built their nest with a very deep cup, making it very hard to spot the eggs on the nest webcam. Thanks to our legion of avid watchers, one was eventually spotted on 19th April. We can't be 100% certain that the egg was laid on 15th April, but that day there was certainly a change in behaviour; Blue 35 started looking very broody and they took it in turns to sit on the nest.

Diligent searching of the footage by our volunteer George has eventually produced some good footage showing 2 more eggs being born over the next few days. He has produced 3 great HD videos showing the birds tending their nest, which are below.

This first video has some beautiful views of the nature reserve in spring, and shows them building up their nest, as well as visits from other ospreys. One of these has a ring, showing it to be the male nesting at nearby Roudsea Wood.

Osprey Foulshaw Moss 4th May 2016 Part 1. Cumbria Wildlife Trust

This second film shows how the birds continue to mate, increasing their chances of successfully fertilising the eggs. You can see how they start to walk carefully around the nest with their claws retracted, and take it in turns sitting on the eggs. There are also some great shots of them feeding, but still the eggs remain hidden deep in the nest.

Foulshaw Osprey web cam footage May 2016 Part 2. Cumbria Wildlife Trust

In the third film we finally get a glimpse of a single egg on 19th April. Then on the dawn of April 22nd a second egg was glimpsed, and by lunchtime a third egg was confirmed. 

Foulshaw Osprey web cam footage May 2016 Part 3. Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Whilst on holiday in Estonia, I saw several white-faced darter dragonflies, and was able to get some insights into how they live in a relatively pristine bog habitat. This is a rare species that we have reitroduced to Foulshaw Moss, where we are trying to restore its habitat that had been drained for forestry last century. The remaining fragments of lowland raised bogs in the UK have all been modified by human activity, so this was a fascinating trip.

Breaking news last night was that the first of our osprey chicks has hatched, so expect another blog soon. Hopefully this will be the third year in a row with 3 chicks!

Simon