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Thread subject: Crisis at Hellgate
Name Date Message
Tiger 07/13/12 07:50 pm The male osprey has been missing all day. Things are getting a bit desperate.

See Hellgate
Shelley 07/13/12 09:29 pm Tiger, I see 3 chicks and the mum. She does appear to be looking for dad but wouldn't she go get some dinner herself if he hasn't been around? She just landed on the nest but without a fish. What is their policy - would the cam folks intervene and provide if the male doesn't appear and the mom doesn't step up to the plate?

Oh, she has left again. Maybe on a dinner run...
Shelley 07/13/12 09:48 pm She's back now and although I don't see a fish, the chicks seem quiet and mum's head feathers look wet. That has to be a good sign, at least...
Trishrg 07/13/12 09:57 pm It's hotter than hallelujah there, and the male has been missing since early today. He has been an excellent provider, so this is not good. If he doesn't return, surely those chicks will perish quickly. It's just too hot and they must be dehydrated by now. The female has not done any fishing since she started incubating, relying entirely on the male. She must be roughing it pretty bad by now too.
Anne-UK1 07/14/12 04:20 am Oh gosh. I haven't been watching this cam. How old are the chicks? I thought we were far enough into the season to relax with all the nests now :(
Anne-UK1 07/14/12 04:28 am I just looked on their facebook page. The male brought in a small fish late last night. Some comments about bald eagles taking fish off him and swimmers making it difficult to fish in the first place. Maybe he'd just had a very tough day. Fingers crossed it gets better for him now.
Shelley 07/14/12 06:58 am Is there anywhere on the cam site itself that posts updates? It bugs me that everything seems to refer over to Facebook. I can't possibly be the only one on the planet who has no interest in crossing over to the dark joining Facebook. But I'd still like to know what's going on!

By the way: WHEW! Glad to hear that the male returned. I am still curious, though, as to why the female wouldn't try to fish, herself. What does she do and where does she go when she isn't in the nest?
Trishrg 07/14/12 08:25 am I saw more updates this morning, he landed with a nice BIG FISH!!! YAY!
Sorry Shelley, updates are on the facebook page, or the posts from viewers anyhow...
Shelley 07/14/12 11:36 am 11:30 a.m. Happy to report that I just tuned in to see both parents on the nest, dad on the edge, looking out, mum having a complete meal. All three chicks seem to be in a fish coma, suggesting that all are fed and sated. Mum just moved some sticks then flew off. Dad just flew off, too. All is calm. The mum has very distinctive colouration. Her head (forehead and back of head) have dark markings apart from the typical osprey head markings. Her head feathers also have a dishevelled look. Last night I thought it was wet but in daylight, it still looks that way and the rest of her seems fine. Maybe she just has permanent *bad hair*... May that be her biggest problem!
Trishrg 07/14/12 11:57 am She had been away and came back wet, so she apparently took a dip in the river.
Male has brought in 3 nice fish.
Here's the last one being delivered.

Tiger 07/14/12 12:41 pm Good that things have improved at Hellgate.
Celeste 07/14/12 01:28 pm Goodness....had a few moments and came here, read Tiger's post and immediately went to the cam...."then" I read the rest of the posts....Glad I came by when it was a happy ending!:-)
Anne-UK1 07/14/12 05:47 pm It certainly sounds a better picture today, thank goodness.

Shelley, I'm not on facebook and never will be. I share your irritation. But some sites do let you look at little bits and Hellgate is one of them. That's enough for me - to be able to just pick up a snippet of an update. Some won't let you see anything unless you're a member, but it's always worth having a quick look to see.

Speaking of facebook - today's page from Dyfi is quite splendid, showing the change in their little chick from the terrible weather of early June to now. I hope it's readable outside the UK, because it will put a smile on faces :) - Link
Shelley 07/14/12 07:03 pm Wow, that's fantastic, Anne, thanks. Maybe this is a dumb question but how do they attach the tracking device to the osprey anyhow? I don't think I actually know! It amazes me that the birds don't try to remove it!
Tiger 07/15/12 01:53 am Oh Ceulan is a real superstar already.

Anyway glad that the crisis at Hellgate seems to be over.

Mind you another one seems to have begun at Loch Garten. Alba the younger osprey fledged at 9.11 am yesterday and has not been seen since.
Tiger 07/15/12 04:30 am Alba arrived back about an hour ago.
Anne-UK1 07/15/12 04:35 am From the still cam it looks like she's back on the nest this morning. I think she's the feisty one, so possibly a bit more independent. Live streaming seems to be down at the moment there.

Shelley, an explanation of tagging from LotL;_

"The tiny transmitter packs are sewn to a lightweight harness which goes around the birds back and wings, like a small rucksack, The chicks are sewn into the harness with a few threads at the front – leaving enough room for the chicks to put on weight and allowing the harness to drop off at the end of its useful life. This ensures the harness puts no strain on the bird. There is a small flexible aerial on the top of the pack which receives the satellite signal. Crucially the pack doesn’t interfere with flight or the Ospreys hunting behavior, leaving their legs free."

Marge did have a few pecks at C44's transmitter at first, but I think they've both accepted it okay now. He had a loose thread at the front for a while, but as far as I know that's frayed away too and won't cause a problem. The stitching at the front is designed to last around three years, then fail and the whole harness drop off. That's the only thing that holds it in place - no glue on feathers or anything like that to bother the bird. I'm in two minds about tagging, but I tell myself it's all in a good cause, to benefit the future of ospreys, and one day may not be necessary any more.

Anne-UK1 07/15/12 04:38 am Oh good. Thanks Tiger. I thought both were on the nest when I looked.

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