The ospreys on the main Tweed Valley nest now have two eggs. This is superb news as the first egg was laid on 6th May, followed by an interval of five days where it looked as though the female (blue AS6) was not going to lay another one.
On the 11th May after a spot of incubating the male stood away from the eggs and the volunteer on duty quickly switched camera to view into the nest and there was the second egg. The two eggs are very different from each other in colour. The first egg laid is a pale colour with mahogany speckles and the second egg is a much darker chocolate brown at the rounded end, looking like a chocolate egg. This completes their clutch now, and as it is her first time as a mum to be, she has done well. We hope that they are fertile and she hatches out two healthy chicks after incubation of 37 to 40 days.
AS6 has taken to her role well and is keen to take over incubation after a feed. The male was pushed out of the nest when she returned on Saturday. She then fussed and moved around the nesting material before re-settling.
The best news from Tweed Valley Ospreys is the return of FK8. The satellite tagged two-year-old returned to the UK on 7th May. She has been extensively exploring since her return and has spent two nights over on the Isle of Lewis and Harris before crossing back to the mainland north of Ullapool, on 11th May. She then headed east to Golspie and then north to Wick. After exploring the area she moved inland to roost overnight west of Loch Calder on 12th May where she hopefully tucked into a tasty trout.
FK8 guest stars on Loch Garten cameras
On 13th May she crossed the North Sea to Troup Head before heading south onto Haddo House. While there she roamed the landscape before roosting overnight in a forest plantation nearby. At approximately 4.30am she began to fly around the area before purposefully heading southwards again at 8.47am. She flew high over Tomintoul and arrived at the famous Loch Garten RSPB site at 15.07pm.
There, she was photographed and seen on their live camera in the visitor centre looking resplendent. They sent over photographs of our bird and it is fantastic to see her.
The first we heard of her visit was via an email received from Julie Quirie at the RSPB Centre saying “we thought that you would like to know that your two year old satellite osprey FK8 paid us a visit here at Loch Garten! She spent around 15 mins on our camera tree and was good enough to pose and show off her leg ring so that we could identify her. There was a male osprey in the area at the same time with a white leg ring but we were unable to identify that one”.
Has she paired up with this white ringed bird?
The last we saw of her was when she was ringed in 2014 as a six week old fledgling. She is now a magnificent and beautiful fully grown adult. Although she is not ready to breed this year, she is certainly checking out good places as likely territory for next year. She left the Loch Garten reserve and her satellite data shows us that from there she headed further south to Loch Insh. We are now waiting for more data to see where she goes next, but my bet is that having checked out north, south, east and west, she is surely heading home to the beautiful Scottish Borders Tweed Valley!
A full report of her journey to date will be published shortly.
More news of FK8 sighting
I have just received an email from Steven Stansfield, warden on Bardsey Island off the Lleyn Peninsula in West Wales, to say that they had a sighting of an osprey which corresponded to our data .
This is what Steven reported to me on receiving the data:
“That was her! Steve Hinde saw her on 8 May at 10 40am!!! She was seen off the island by the local Herring Gulls. Fantastic record. I will publicise this and your blog etc via our blog and twitter account.”
How lovely to have been so lucky to spot her making her way home!!! She is a star!
Below is the satellite image of her passing the island at that time!!