Tweed Valley birds are away

Cheerio SS and Mrs. O

Migration is underway for all the ospreys by now. So far in the Tweed Valley Project area we know that SS and Mrs. O have left. The last time SS was seen was Sunday 20th August and it was a very noticeably quiet Mrs. O on the main nest on Monday 21st. Was she aware that he had left? Normally she would be calling repeatedly in the hopes that he would bring a fish back and share it with her but she was uncharacteristically quiet, and spent a lot of time preening her feathers. The next day she was gone too. There have been no further sightings at the nest site of either of them since, so they must have gone south.

Worries about FK8

last point in france next to bay of Biscay

Last tracked point next to Bay of Biscay in Brittany

Last point for FK8 Frances

Last point close up flying strong along the river

We are really worried about FK8, her journey was going brilliantly and she was making great progress; she left the UK and reached Brittany where she then headed overland in a southerly direction towards the shore near to the Bay of Biscay and this is where her data has ceased. We have had no further data updates since 22nd August.

She has been tagged for the past three years and her data returns have always been reliably sent through about twice per day, so it is alarming that this should have stopped right at this crucial point in her journey. It could be equipment failure but the last readings were showing good battery and signal strength. She was so close to the Bay of Biscay, she may have started the crossing and hit trouble. The Bay is notoriously stormy as it is a bottleneck for the Atlantic Ocean weather systems. Hurricane Harvey was occurring on the opposite side of the ocean but could this have affected weather conditions on the other side of the ocean?

A Loch Garten bird, Seasca vanished in the Bay of Biscay close to where she was heading to, back in 2014 due to stormy conditions. This is quite ominous but we will keep fingers crossed and hope it’s a data blip.

Atlantic ocean hurricane position pic

Could weather be affecting the Bay of Biscay from across the Atlantic Ocean?

Pinky (PY1) heads south

PY1, (Pinky), the sister of PY2, (Perky), has finally started her journey too. She left on Saturday 26th August at 11.11am and headed over towards Ettrickbridge and Hawick and then to Haltwhistle. A male osprey from Stirlingshire set off on the same morning and their paths crossed near to Gilsland by Haltwhistle between 2pm and 3pm. Did they see each other? He then continued to the east of the UK, whereas PY1 headed westerly to Wales and looked set to follow a similar route that her half- sister, FK8 took on her first journey from the UK back in 2014.

She roosted overnight near to Bolton at Two Brooks Valley having covered 224km since leaving Peeblesshire. The next day she flew a further 165km to Mid Wales where she spent the night by Lyn Clywedog Reservoir before continuing on 27th August to cross the Bristol Channel and to the south coast of England. She took a final nights stopover near to Bishops Cross in Devon before heading down to the estuary at Plymouth and out to sea. Will she cross to France or chance a crossing straight over the Bay of Biscay? It’s a nerve wracking time! Knowing that something may have happened to FK8 in the same area just a few days ago is worrying. Fingers crossed for PY1 and a safe onward journey.

PY1 and Stirlingdshire bird cross paths he goes east she goes west

PY1 goes west across Wales and Stirlingshire osprey goes east. Travelling at the same time.

Lyn Clywedog Wales

An overnight roost at Lyn Clywedog

will she cross Bay of Biscay PY1

Will she cross the channel to France or head out to the Bay of Biscay?

Perky (PY2) enjoying France and Switzerland along the border

PY2 is having an amazing journey; he has travelled down through Germany and has now reached Switzerland. He has spent the past couple of days enjoying the beautiful Doubs River Valley which crosses through France and Switzerland and is the 10th longest river in France. He went south along the river and then had a restless night on the French side of the border, where he moved at 11pm, then again at 2.14am and then at 5am. He then doubled back up the river to an area previously visited in Switzerland and he spent the day and night there before continuing his journey.

He moved on to take a slightly south westerly course across the border into France to spend the night on 28th August at another idyllic setting beside the L’Orbe River in France. He is definitely fishing along the way as his data shows visits and rests to coincide with fishing trips and time to feed.

PY2 Journey to 29th August

PY2 travelling between France and Switzerland along the border and along River Doubs


The beautiful River Doubs

The Doubs reflections

Can you imagine why PY2 is reluctant to leave this area along the Doubs?

Thank you to all our volunteers

The osprey centres are closed from the end of August and we thank the volunteers who have staffed them over the summer for all their hard work and effort. They make the project so enjoyable for visitors and gather all the information about what is happening on the live cameras during the week.

4 thoughts on “Tweed Valley birds are away

  1. Lisa Kennedy

    Thanks so much for your updates. Wishing all your ospreys a safe journey. Great to be able to learn where they are. I fervently hope you’ll hear from FK8 soon and that she is back on track.

  2. Paul Wildlifewriter

    Paul here. The answer to your questions about weather for FK8 are “no” and “no”. For all their destructive power, hurricanes are essentially local / regional weather events and Harvey would have had no effect on the weather more than 8000 km away. On the morning of the 22nd, winds along the southern coast of Brittany were light to moderate (20-25 km/h) but blowing from the south-east. Given these conditions, I would have expected a migrating osprey follow its instincts and continue round and down the coast of France, rather than attempt an over-sea route. Hope this helps.

    1. dianetweedvalleyospreys Post author

      Thanks Paul. That rules out weather as a probable cause of any trouble. It’s a mystery really then why she just went out of signal. I am hoping she has made it back to Portugal. Someone is going to check the area to see if she turns up.


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