The male osprey, white ring SS, is still alone at the nest site. It is now becoming quite worrying as although we had assumed his partner from last year had returned, we have not witnessed the pair together yet. A blue ringed bird thought to be her (AS6), arrived on 11th April and has not been seen since. SS didn’t arrive until 15th April and so maybe, as she is so inexperienced and after their failed breeding season last year, she didn’t wait for him and moved on.
It does seem unusual, as the birds usually try to stay on territory and within the same partnership but she is definitely not with SS yet. He has been seen sitting for hours at the nest like a lonely bachelor eating his fish supper for one.
We may need to send out an urgent SOS to find SS a wife, as the season is getting late with only a narrow window of opportunity in which to breed. However, this has been such a strange spring weather-wise that maybe there are still a few surprises to come and we could have a record late pairing of ospreys and young for this year. We cannot predict nature no matter how hard we try.
SS does a spring clean of the nest
SS has remained optimistic as he has been doing the nest up, removing grass that was growing and adding new material and moving sticks around. He has even been making a scrape in the middle of the nest where eggs should be laid but it is all in vain without a partner so far.
An unwelcome visit
He has not been totally without company, as two ospreys invaded the nest on 22nd April. Both birds were not ringed and they caused alarm for SS, who was towered over by the big female bird (big Bertha).
He was distressed, mantling his wings and calling and flicking his wings and tail in agitation and adopting defensive posture during their visit. One of the birds flew off leaving him alone with Bertha. If she is an available female, he clearly was not interested. She is similar to the female that he partnered with the year his original partner died and she was a bit intimidating towards him.
This could be a bid for taking over the nest, or it could be the beginning of a new pairing. So far SS has held strong and holds the territory, but a storm is brewing as this nest is hot property and needs to be occupied soon. We just hope that it will be SS. Come back soon please AS6 (his partner from last year)!
Since the excitement of intruder ospreys at the nest on 22nd April things have been very quiet again. A lonesome SS has been sitting in the nest during awful weather, as sleet and hailstones bounce off his back and no sign of a female for company.
Tweed Valley bird at Kielder
Over in Kielder Forest a Tweed Valley female osprey (white ring EB) is nesting for the second year with her partner ringed as 37. They have three eggs currently and the season looks set to be a good one for them.
FK8 blown off course
FK8, the satellite tagged female from Tweed Valley, is making her migration back to the UK. We would have predicted that she would have arrived sooner but her journey which was quite straightforward until northern Spain then took a crooked path over the Bay of Biscay, looping across to Brittany.
It would seem that during the crossing strong north to north east winds sent her struggling off course to the east where she has thankfully reached land. She has covered a distance of 880 km on her journey so far since leaving Portugal on 15th April. The last data received was for 20th April.
There has been a report that she has been spotted in Wales, and we look forward to seeing how her journey progresses.
— Dyfi Osprey Project (@DyfiOspreys) April 27, 2017