Celebrating good news
So many things can change in just a matter of a week within the Tweed Valley Osprey Project. This week is all about celebration, as we have good news from both of the osprey nests with live cameras.
The unlikely couple SS and Mrs.O
On the main nest, Tweed Valley’s star of the osprey show for the past 14 years, male osprey white leg SS, has returned. His partner Mrs O has also returned. Mrs O does not have a Darvic ring, but she has a silver BTO ring on her right leg, and her distinctive squawking could be heard long before she was spotted actually flying down onto the nest. It is an odd pairing for this couple as they met last season but didn’t have time to raise a family, but she ensured that SS fed her and they remained together. He adopts a defensive posture on the nest whenever she is around and she repeatedly calls loudly, following him around the nest. They have mated, and hopefully they will grow a more relaxed and gentle connection over the course of the summer, especially if they have chicks. There have been signs of another osprey dive bombing the nest too, but we can’t see who the raider is.
A Borders bird takes the place of 8C
The recently widowed unringed osprey partner of 8C has paired up with a new male. This is superb news, as this is a very productive nest site and the female is an experienced bird, mother to PX1 and PY1. The new male bird is one of the Borders’ own – he is a blue ringed bird, CL1, from a nest in 2012. As one of a brood of two, his sister was a large bird, about 200g heavier than he was as a fledgling. He has come to our attention a few times previously in his six years of life so far, because as a young fledgling he travelled to Ireland, to County Wicklow, where he was spotted. He has also been photographed in Senegal, and made a brief appearance to visit the Dyfed ospreys on camera a few years ago too. Perhaps he enjoys the notoriety and fame, because the nest site he has claimed as his own this year has live camera viewing too!
This is going to be an exciting time to watch two pairs of ospreys at their nest sites in Tweed Valley at the same time and be able to compare their progress simultaneously.
We have had a few teething problems with the technology to begin with but this is about to be rectified shortly and the birds will be able to be seen on the live webcam too on the Tweed Valley Osprey official blog site for Forestry Commission. They are also on camera seven days a week at the Glentress Wildwatch room and at Kailzie Gardens Osprey and Wildlife Watch centre.
It is an incredible feat of technical wizardry that allows us to view these birds, involving large distances of wireless data transmission over hills and valleys. Several masts on the hilltops need to be aligned to send signals point to point, while a power supply using solar and wind, because of the remoteness of the nest sites, adds to the difficulty of maintaining constant images. So, occasionally technical hitches require us to be patient until they can be resolved. But thankfully, we can have the pleasure of viewing these osprey nests and seeing their lives pan out as they raise their families this season.
Satellite tracked birds
We have news of satellite tracked bird FK8 and are thrilled that she has safely made it on migration back from Portugal to Scotland. For now, she has settled in the area around the Dornoch Estuary.
The Paxman osprey, PX1, has travelled safely to France and is having a break from his journey along the Garonne River in Bordeax . He has been there since 12 April and was still there on 17 April, fishing the river and roosting in nearby trees north of the river. Once the weather changes to high pressure in the next few days, that should allow him to push on further north and hopefully into the UK.