Visitors to RSPB Scotland’s Abernethy nature reserve have been overjoyed as two Osprey chicks made their grand entrance.
The young chicks are the offspring of Asha and Brodie, a pair who are nesting in the vast landscape of the Cairngorms Connect partnership, of which RSPB Scotland is part. Asha has laid three eggs in total this year, on 25 April, 28 April and 1 May. Since then both parents have made a stellar job of keeping them safe, including protecting them from interloping Ospreys. The first egg hatched on Sunday 4 June, followed by a second on Tuesday 6 June.
The birds’ activities are being beamed live to the Loch Garten Nature Centre, via a camera which has been hidden in a stick three metres from the nest to avoid disturbing the birds. The nest can also be watched through scopes set up in the visitor centre.
Fergus Cumberland, Visitor Experience Manager for RSPB Scotland, said, “Ospreys hold a special place in our hearts here and we’re delighted to be witnessing what will hopefully be another successful breeding year for mum, Asha.”
Osprey, copyright Glyn Sellors, from the surfbirds galleries
Last year was the first time in four years that Ospreys had nested at the site. Female Asha, who was named following a public vote last year, laid three eggs with partner Axel. Two eggs successfully hatched, but sadly one of the chicks died before fledging the nest. A post-morten carried out on the dead chick uncovered it had died from salmonella poisoning. With no sign of Axel this year, Asha has partnered with newcomer Brodie. The male has no leg rings to identify him, so his background is a mystery, but the new couple have clearly hit it off.
Jess Tomes, Abernethy Site Manager for People at RSPB Scotland, said, “The next few weeks are critical for the chicks who are totally dependent on their parents. It’s always such a tense but exciting time watching to see the fate of these incredible young birds and we welcome everybody to visit us at the Nature Centre and experience these amazing moments!”
Highlights and updates will be provided on the RSPB Loch Garten Twitter and Facebook pages and the live cameras can be viewed here.
The camera and live feed have been installed by Wildlife Windows and funded by the European Regional Development Fund through NatureScot.