Still here for now
The main nest ospreys were back at their nest to feed on the 7th August. The female AS6 was seen at the nest with a large trout in her talons from 1.30pm in the afternoon where she was enjoying eating her catch. She stayed around for quite a while and then at 3.50pm her partner, white leg SS, flew on to the nest with a half-eaten trout in his talons, which she demanded from him very vocally and he gave it to her. She took this fish and sat up on the perch and finished eating it, while SS stayed around for half an hour before finally leaving her there.
They both have long absences away from the nest and sometimes are not seen there for days, so it is unusual for them both to spend such a long time at the nest in one day. On the 8th August SS was back at the nest at 1.45pm eating a fish but with no sign of his partner AS6. When they are absent from the site for long periods we can only wonder whether they are still in contact with each other or whether they roam separately. They may well have regular eating habits together somewhere else in the vicinity of their territory around the nest.
No more sightings of FS2
It is a good sign that SS is still providing fish for her and that the intruding FS2 female has now moved on. Tony Lightley, Conservation and Heritage Manager at Forestry Commission Scotland, is still waiting to hear back from Roy Dennis from the Highland Foundation for Wildlife about FS2, to find out about where she came from and what age she is.
As we suspect that she is a young non breeding bird, she has probably continued exploring and checking out other sites.
FK8 stays at the Flows National Nature reserve
FK8, the satellite tagged two year old Tweed Valley bird, has moved back to favoured haunts between Caithness and Sutherland. Looking at the data for this past week, she has been having a fine time in the RSPB National Nature Reserve The Flows. This is certainly a grand place for a young osprey and the tracking data has revealed that she is hunting across many of the lochs and roosting in forestry plantation areas.
The data also had a curious line of daytime roosts in a perfect line behind Loch Slethill. When we zoomed in on Google earth, nothing was revealed about what she could be perching on. However, we have checked with warden Paul Turner at the RSPB site and he instantly spotted that her data corresponds to the recently erected deer fence posts. Presumably she is finding these perches useful once she has made a catch in the loch.
The nature reserve is a real wildlife oasis of peatlands and bogs, with many amazing species of European importance for conservation breeding there. There are black throated diver and red throated diver breeding pairs on the loch which she is hunting from, which is stocked with brown trout. There are hen harriers and merlin nesting, and the area also holds 50% of the UK population of wood sandpipers.
Royally good fishing
FK8 has also enjoyed fishing at Loch Calum, which apparently was a favoured fishing area for the Queen Mother when she visited the castle in Caithness. So it would seem that FK8 has a knack for seeking out special places to visit and to fish in places fit for royalty.
When she is not searching lochs in the area she favours following two local rivers: the Sleach Water which flows from the east of the reserve into Loch More and on to the River Thurso, or heading from the west of the reserve following the Halladale River which flows to the north.
The wardens on the reserve will keep a look out for FK8 and let us know if they see her and how she is getting on.
Her very first migration journey leaving Tweed Valley after fledging began on 7th September in 2014 and by 15th September she had settled in Portugal where she remained until returning in May this year. She has not visited the Tweed Valley since her return, so with fingers crossed we are hoping she might pop in for a visit when she decides to head off on migration soon.
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