Sad news about osprey 8C

A tragic start to the season…

Osprey fishing, Scottish Borders.

8C with fish photographed by Angus Blackburn

We received very sad news that the adult male osprey from the ‘back up’ no. 2 nest was found dead at the weekend. It was a very tragic accident, as yellow 8C dived into a pond that was netted to prevent predators such as herons taking the fish. Unfortunately, he got caught up in the netting and drowned.

Prevent ospreys flying into netting

For any land owners that have ponds which are stocked with fish and have netting to protect them, please try to discourage any diving bird such as ospreys from attempting to make a dive by creating a visual deterrent, such as bright coloured netting and tapes or flags that flap in the wind, making movement which should deter the osprey from entering.

What next for 8C’s partner?

It is so sad to lose this magnificent male bird when only last week we were celebrating his return with his partner. They had taken up their old territory and had been filmed mating at the nest site. The nest had been scraped out in readiness for egg laying. This year for the first time we have cameras on this nest, relaying live streaming of images in real time back to the visitor centres at Glentress Wildwatch Room and Kailzie Gardens. His lonesome female partner has been seen sitting at the nest with a very uncertain future ahead of her.

Satellites tracked 8C’s Offspring

His legacy will live on through his satellite tagged offspring FK8, PY1 and Jeremy Paxman’s bird PX1, and thankfully we will be able to follow their progress.

Time to find a new partner

At least the tragedy has happened right at the start of the season before there were any chicks, and it does give his partner time to meet another male this season, as birds are still arriving. We hope that she finds a partner and that the nest site remains productive. It will be an interesting few weeks to watch the nest and hope for an arrival of a new suitable male. He will have a lot to live up to, as 8C was an awesome male, a large bird with a distinctive chocolate colour, patterned, with feathering on the neck which from a distance made him look like a female.

The main nest definitely has one occupant but the osprey has only been seen with his back to the camera so far. Although we are really hoping that it is white leg SS, we cannot say for certain at this point.

Web camera

We are sorry that the web camera is not yet up and running on the Tweed Valley Osprey Forestry Commission web site but we have been assured that all technical hitches will be sorted soon and there will be live pictures from both nests for the first time this year, which will be really exciting. So at this point in the season we have no idea how the ospreys pairings will turn out at the two nest sites on camera, but we just hope that they are both occupied and our birds find good partners.

Migration updates

We now know that FK8 has started her migration journey and the last data we had for her showed that she was on the move northwards through Portugal.

PX1 migration almost in france

PX1’s route this spring up to 10th April

The Paxman osprey, PX1, has made amazing progress. Since the data lag in March has now been resolved, we now have tracking points to show his journey north through Morocco. He then crossed the Alboran Sea, headed east of Gibraltar and onwards into mainland Spain. Next, he flew parallel to his original southward migration route, up into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, making use of the uplift from the thermal air currents as he continued parallel to the Spanish coast, until finally veering off in a northwards direction. He was last tracked just south of the border of France, near to a small town in Spain called Cuarte at 11.56 am on 10 April. He will no doubt reach the UK very soon and it will be really exciting to see where 8C’s son, PX1, will explore.

10th April track point PX1

10th April close to the french Border at the Spanish town of Cuarte

Will he come to the Tweed Valley?

We sincerely hope so!

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