What has happened to FX9?

Concerns are growing for the juvenile osprey (FX9), that fledged a few weeks ago from the main nest. The bird took off and there have not been any confirmed sightings of him at the nest site since. The camera on the nest is live and is watched by volunteers while on duty. Some activity is obviously missed, as it is not watched constantly but even so the pattern of behaviour is so very different from previous years when offspring repeatedly return to their nest site after fledging and mum and dad brought food back there.  Added to the concern about the bird, is the fact that it is fitted with a satellite transmitter and the last data we received is from 2nd August when all was well and he was roosting in trees near to the nest site.
We are still waiting to hear from Roy Dennis (Highland Foundation for Wildlife), as he receives the data and then passes it on to Tony Lightley for the Tweed Valley Osprey Project. We have not given up hope yet as there could be reasons, such as technical issues with a faulty transmitter or the bird may have not returned to the nest because there was no need being an only chick but until we have some data we cannot be certain.

Return of CL4 from the 10th brood of SS in 2013

Some good news though, is that the film footage of the two birds that were briefly visiting the nest on the 10th August, recorded by David Allan, the volunteer on duty, has been analysed frame by frame and the still image of the blue ringed male bird shows the leg ring number to be CL and the third digit we believe to be 4 (CL4). This is very exciting news as this is one of the ospreys ringed as a chick in the main nest in 2013 while the children of St. Ronan’s Primary school watched. This bird was from the final brood of white leg SS and his original partner in their 10th year together and the children had worked on a project to produce the ‘Osprey Time Flies’ book to celebrate the success of the Tweed Valley Osprey Project and 10th anniversary of the parent birds at the main nest.

This is a two year old bird and yet again the advantage of ringing birds in order to identify and find out more about them has paid off. We previously believed that birds did not return until at least three years old, when ready to breed but we have had quite a few two year olds returning and being spotted back in the UK.

Juvenile goshawk checks out osprey nest

Once again David Allan was on duty in the centre and was vigilant enough to spot a very special visitor on the main osprey nest. This time he recorded a juvenile goshawk on the nest, on Sunday 16th August. The young bird hopped about on the right hand perch above the nest, then sidled down the branch, had a good look around then hopped back up to the perch and then hopped away into higher foliage never to be seen again.

goshawk edited main nest 16th august 2015

It was such an impressive raptor with a fierce gaze accentuated by the pale eye-stripe. It had the streaking brown colouring on the breast feathers of a juvenile as opposed to the adult birds horizontal stripes, bright yellow sturdy legs and feet and the resemblance of a sparrowhawk but much bigger.

Migration has begun

The ospreys will be making their migrations soon and the parent birds have not been seen for a while, the female has probably already left. It is worth watching out for ospreys all around the area just now because there will be not only the birds that have bred successfully here in the Tweed Valley and their offspring but other birds from further north will be likely to be passing through on their way south.

Thanks for reading,

9 thoughts on “What has happened to FX9?

  1. Winnie Lisowski

    This is so worrying about FX9 after he did so well after loosing his siblings. I agree its strange behaviour he didn’t return to the nest to be fed by his parents & also to rest. I have followed 6 Ospreys nest as I find their behaviour so so interesting and hope he is spotted soon. I’ve learnt Ospreys have a very tough life there are so many dangers they have to face and even more when they migrate, they are absolutely magnificent birds and some even re-write the rule book as Glesni in Dyfi Project in Wales did just this week when she flew off, hadn’t been spotted in 2 days then returned when everyone thought she had migrated. Fingers crossed for you all at Tweed Valley you all put so much effort into your Ospreys.

    1. Diane

      Thanks for your support Winnie, the ospreys are certainly fascinating and we are still finding out new information about their behaviour and life, through the various osprey projects.

  2. HilaryJ

    A few years ago the single chick at Loch of Lowes was missing from the nest for several days and returned safely. It is possible that the adults will take fish to a youngster away from the nest if no-one is coming to the nest to receive it.

    1. Winnie Lisowski

      Good to know Mum will take food to wherever chick is, but yes its a very worrying situation especially if chick got injured & couldn’t return to nest. The fact nobody has seen FX9 flying around seems as though something terrible has happened which is so so sad after doing so well. We won’t give up yet Ospreys sometime have their own reasons why they do things, one could be she freaked out at nest with another bird attacking her, which happened at Isle of Mull when a white tailed eagle chick got pushed out of nest and fell 40ft, luckily it survived.
      Thanks you for update I appreciate it.

    2. Diane

      Fingers Crossed Hilary. I hope he is ok. It could indeed be equipment failure and the bird may be well and flying about the area.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s