Published: 17/07/2012 14:06 - Updated: 17/07/2012 14:14

Bad weather affects birdlife in the strath

Written byJack Calvert

Ospreys and other birds are suffering because of the bad weather
Ospreys and other birds are suffering because of the bad weather

Bad weather in the strath is having a detrimental impact on birdlife in the area, an expert has warned.

Richard Thaxton, site manager for RSPB at Loch Garten, believes that the death of an osprey chick at the loch last month was due to an incapability of the male osprey to provide enough food for the brood.

The chick that died was the smallest of the three osprey chicks at the Loch Garten osprey reserve nest.

It passed away on Sunday following a sustained attack of bullying by one of its older osprey siblings.

If food is ever in short supply, then the older, stronger and more dominant chick or chicks will secure enough food for themselves and pull through but the smaller, weaker one may not.

Odin, the adult male osprey had appeared to be bringing in adequate fish for all three chicks, but the prolonged cold, wet weather wouldn’t have helped him.

Mr Thaxton belives that the dismally poor summer weather has impacted the fishing potential for ospreys.

He said: "There are definitely several examples of the way in which the weather is altering osprey feeding patterns. Other chicks have died and some nests have failed altogether."

Highlighting the influence changing climate has on other birds, Mr Thaxton said: "Ground birds are not feeding well and I’ve come across swallows who are only laying eggs now. The norm is for them to lay in late May/early June.

"Swifts are another example, they migrated very late this year. It is almost as if these birds have been waiting and waiting for the good weather which never came."

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