We know that birds are still arriving as we have just had superb news that FK8 (the female osprey being satellite tracked) has only just come back to the UK. She made a staggering crossing of the Bay of Biscay being battered by bad weather before turning back to rest on an island just off the point of Brittany. She then spent from 21st April to 24th April recuperating on the mainland before crossing the English Channel to arrive at Plymouth on 24th April at 14.17pm.
She stopped at some fish ponds north of Collaton Cross and presumably fed and took an overnight roost nearby. From here she headed to the Bristol Channel and made the crossing from 9.23am to 10.15am on 26th April, arriving at Rest Bay north of Porthcawl in South Wales and continuing north.
FK8 celebrity reality TV star
Being the celebrity that she is, she couldn’t resist starring on the Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust ‘live’ camera briefly, disturbing the resident pair of nesting ospreys. The ospreys were not in the least pleased to see her and she hovered over the nest and then headed off.
The spike from her route to the nest gives us an insight into just how good osprey eyesight is. She must have been at least 4km away to spot that nest and veer across to the west to visit, before moving northerly again to roost overnight in trees outside of Machynlleth. She set off through the north of Wales on 27th April and on reaching Conway turned inland following the line of the land over to Chester were she spent the night.
FK8 flies high through Peebles
She flew north again on 28th April, roosting overnight north of Blackburn and then on to Carlisle without stopping on 29th April and then to home territory in Peeblesshire! How very exciting and yet no phone calls or photos from anyone spotting her coming through. Well not surprising really, as she sped past at a height of between 900m and over 1031m in altitude, arriving at 11.47am and within 8 minutes she had gone! Lonely SS might have welcomed her for a visit.
FK8 back up north at the Forsinard Flows
She has set her sights on moving north now. She has since travelled across the north east of Scotland, crossed the Dornoch Estuary and is back up at the Forsinard Flows RSPB Reserve fishing at Loch Slethill and settling in. This is her second summer to return to the UK and although late in spring, she could have her mind set on breeding this year. She is now three years old and in fantastic condition. We wish her the best of luck.
The full journey will be put on the screens at the osprey centres and also will be made into a film clip for the osprey blog soon.
No wife for SS yet
At the main nest, a lonely SS remains waiting for his partner. He is ever the optimistic soul, building up nesting material, and moving moss around. He is defending the territory against any incoming ospreys but he remains a single occupant. If he is still waiting for his partner from last year, blue leg ring AS6, then it is so disappointing, as it would seem that she has moved on.
However, spring is still unfurling and many migrants are still only just arriving, so we have not given up hope for SS yet.
Heron family life on camera
Back at the centres there are now herons on camera at Kailzie, with a nest of three very lively, somewhat prehistoric looking heron chicks. They differ in size greatly and the smallest is having a hard time to survive the cruelty meted out by its siblings attacking it in the nest. This is raw nature and often the smallest will not survive but so far it’s holding on.
The blue tit nest box camera has revealed that there are six eggs which are covered in moss while the bird is out. She will not start to incubate them until she has laid the full clutch which could be as many as thirteen eggs.
Otters and fox cameras
The stealth camera has been recording otters and foxes. The otters obligingly eat the fish left out for them and so there is a great view of it and the fox with the bent tail had a good feast on fish too.
Bees are back
The bees have been re-instated at Glentress Wildwatch, which are great to watch. They pass the time bringing packed pollen sacs back to the viewing hive after feasting on the flowers outside.