We first proved breeding in Strathspey in 2001, when a pair were located in an open Scots pine wood and reared 4 young. They reared 3 young in 2002 and have been present most summers, with breeding probably also occurring at a couple of other locations along the River Spey.
In 2010, Roy Dennis saw a hobby back at the nesting area on 10th May and on 28th May Keith Duncan saw both birds sitting in sheltered spots trying to keep out of the rain. He found an active crow nest about 30m away containing 3/4 grown young, an ideal nest for use by breeding hobbies. We found no occupied nest until late July, when Keith Duncan located young hobbies in a nest close to the 2001 nest tree on 15th July.
Keith and Roy visited the site on 26th July and saw well grown young in the nest, but the foliage made it very difficult to check their size. It was decided to ring the chicks on 29th July, Brian Etheridge climbed the 80 foot Scots pine tree; the male and female arrived and mobbed him when he was at the nest.
In 2012, Keith Duncan found the nest in the same wood and despite the awful wet and cold summer the pair of hobbies were successful and reared two young, one of which was satellite tagged and named Sylvestris - after the Scots pine in which they nest. Full details of Sylvestris’s webpage.
The young were lowered in a special bag to the ground for ringing, measuring and satellite tagging. There were three well grown chicks and the largest one was also fitted with one of the very new lightweight 5 gm Solar satellite transmitters made by Microwave Telemetry. This chick was ringed with BTO ring number EN72942 with transmitter number PTT 51897. The wing measurement was 152mm, tail 69mm and weight 283 gms. It was a female. The nest contained sand martin and swallow feathers, as well as part of a bat wing.
The migration of the young hobby is on the attached blog under the name Aeshna. This is the scientific name of the larger dragonflies, a favourite food of the young hobbies, so have decided to call our satellite tagged female hobby ‘Aeshna’. Her start point for the migration maps is Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. Remember if you click the photos they enlarge to make it easier to read.
Additional Information on the species
Check out the BTO bird facts page for the hobby at http://blx1.bto.org/birdfacts/results/bob3100.htm