23rd April 2011
There has been great excitement at Osprey HQ as on 20th April XL produced her first egg of 2011. At first I could only see her looking rather bedraggled in the tree above me. It was still very misty & had rained overnight. She still had the last of a fish but her crop was full. She soon flew to the edge of the nest. As she did M stood up gently out of the bowl of the nest, gave himself a quick shake & XL then took his place. This is the behaviour of a pair with an egg - there is no mistake. I am also certain that a second egg was produced yesterday, 22nd April. I had observed XL looking increasingly uncomfortable - lots of standing up & shuffling around - then I could see that she was raising her tail every few moments. This continued for about 15 minutes then she stood up, looked in the nest & carefully shuffled herself over to incubate her eggs. Last year I was fortunate enough to actually see her deposit an egg in the nest. I have video of this but was so excited to see the event, it is quite shaky so I did not post.
Since Wednesday, M has provided 2 fish each day & 3 today. Male ospreys will deliver live fish to the nest or sometimes they will eat the head end first themselves in a nearby tree. The female will gently call to the male for him to bring the fish to her. Depending how hungry she is, this calling will increase in frequency & pitch until the male can bear it no longer & he will deliver the fish to the nest at which point the female will fly to her favourite branch to eat & the male will take over incubating the eggs. It is always the female which incubates overnight.
M has also brought large clumps of moss to the nest this week & there are a couple more pics below.