We are devastated to report that the osprey female failed to return to the nest on Thursday 5th June in the afternoon during a really wet, cold day. The male bird, white leg SS, did his best to keep the young chicks going by feeding them and attempting to keep them warm but he left them at around 3.30pm and the chicks have most likely succumbed to the cold conditions. The chicks were seen dead in the nest on Friday and there is still no sign of the female adult.
The male bird is still at the nest site and looks a very sorry figure, he seems to ignore the dead chicks and is just waiting with fish in his talons for the return of his mate.
The nest site area has been checked in case the female was close by and maybe on the ground injured but there is absolutely no sign of her.
Many people were very emotionally attached to this pair of ospreys, as we have watched them for the past 10 years and were looking forward to their 11th season together and all had appeared well. The female was not ringed, so we do not know anything of her origins and it may be that she was really old. The male bird was repeatedly seen feeding the female this season, so perhaps she was feeling unwell. We will never know.
The volunteers and staff are devastated at the loss of this remarkable and beautiful wild bird and their little family. We just hope that white SS recovers from his loss and maybe finds a new mate next year. We will keep the cameras going just now to see what he does and also just in case, as there is a slim chance that the female may return.
Note from the editor: Since this post was written we have had reports that the female has returned to the nest. More updates to follow soon.