Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tragedy for Perky but triumph for FK8

FK8 is in Portugal

We’ve had some very happy news and some very sad news about the Tweed Valley Ospreys this week.

Firstly, the good news is that after a six week absence of satellite data from the tag on FK8 (the three year old osprey female), we have suddenly received strong clear signals from Portugal! She is back in her winter territory and it would seem that she has been there since 26th August. We do not have the full details of her journey yet but will hopefully be able to report details of how she got there and where she has been in the near future.

Daniel Raposa, who lives in Portugal, very kindly went on an expedition to search for FK8 at her known haunts in the Sines area of Portugal at Barragem de Morgavel on 23rd September. He was not lucky enough to see her, but we will hopefully be able to find out exactly what happened on her journey once we sort through the backlog of data. We hope the data will continue to be transmitted and we can keep track of her once more.

21949989_10154948252518317_6249858488060965470_o

Daniel Rapoza’s photo of Barragem de Morgavel

Morgavel

Daniels’ photo of Barragem de Morgavel

Perky has died in Switzerland

Now for the deeply sad news: We have lost Perky. He had been doing really well at the Lac de Joux in Switzerland and had even been spotted by Wendy Strahm (co-ordinator for the osprey reintroduction project in Switzerland) carrying a large fish on September 20th. He had arrived in the area on August 29th and was undertaking fishing trips of about 20km per day, apart from a huge tour on September 16th when he flew as far south as Geneva. We thought he was continuing his migration, but he then doubled back to return to the Lac de Joux. However, something clearly happened the night of September 23rd, after which he appeared to stop moving and the voltage and temperature on his satellite transmitter gradually declined until we lost his signal on the afternoon of September 25th.

Perky perch Lac de Joux 4oct17 (1) crop

Perkys’ final roost.

Fisher cabin Lac de Joux 4oct17 (1)

Perky feathers were found near to this cabin

Perky feathers with tag 4oct17

The feathers showing carnivore damage with the recovered tag.

Perky feathers in situ Lac de Joux 4oct17 (1)

The feathers on the ground. All photos taken by Wendy Strahm.

Phil Atkinson from Movetech Telemetry analysed the GPS transmitter data and sent what he estimated to be Perky’s last position, so Wendy returned to the site which was on a very steep slope overlooking the lake. Sadly, she only found a pile of feathers and the satellite transmitter, with its little solar panel lying face-down on the ground. There was no body to be found, and it looked as though a carnivore – probably a fox – had found or possibly dragged the carcass behind a little fisherman’s cabin and consumed it. With no carcass we will never know why he died, although as it appears he died at night, it is possible he may have been killed by the resident Eagle Owl in the area. A young osprey’s life is never easy.

Pinky in Spain

Perky’s sister, Pinky, is still in Spain at the Rio Agueda. She had briefly crossed the border into Portugal but returned to Spain where she appears to be doing very well exploring the river systems. It will be interesting to see if she moves further south with the onset of autumn well under way.

Pinky river trp Spain

Pinkys’ movements along the Rio Agueda.

Scottish osprey movement

Other Scottish satellite-tagged osprey journeys can be seen on the Google Earth map below. The winner of the race by far is the young female from Dumfries and Galloway, who reached Gambia by 1st October.

all movement scottish sat tag ospreys oct2017

8 ospreys on migration 2017

Of the eight ospreys shown, two are in Morocco, one in Gambia, two in Spain, one in Portugal, one in France and one (deceased – Perky) in Switzerland. The birds which are still in Europe are quite far north for overwintering, so there is likely to be further southerly movement before they final settle. It is expected that the ospreys in Morocco will continue further south too before they settle.

Advertisements

Hello from Switzerland

2 Chalet in the mist 15sep17

Mist at the chalet near to Perky’s roost

3 Cow grazing in the mist 15sep17

Misty valley 15th Sept

In search of Perky

The young male osprey named Perky (PY2) migrated as far as Switzerland, halting his journey at the Lac de Joux. His tracking data revealed daily visits along the north shore of the lake, with occasional crossings to the far shore and to a roost site near a chalet beside a forested track. We received news from Wendy Strahm, the project coordinator responsible for the Osprey reintroduction project in Switzerland, that all of the reintroduced Swiss ospreys had left the area, so she was surprised that Perky was still around and generously offered have a look for him. Below is a report of her visit, including photographs of a healthy looking Perky flying above the Lake.

Wendy Strahm reports from Swiss expedition to spot Perky

Wendy wrote,

“Perky (PY2) let me discover a bit of forest in Switzerland (that was quite clearly Osprey heaven) that I had never been to before.

1Road and mist 15sep17

The expedition started at 8am on 15th September, when Stephan Rytz, Loïc Oswald and myself set off for the Vallée de Joux, armed with the latest GPS readings (sent to us by Tony Lightley and Diane Bennett) of where Perky had spent the night, and where he had been fishing during the past few days. When we arrived we were greeted by cool temperatures (4°) and cloud, with a thick layer of mist covering the lake and lower forested slopes. Far from ideal conditions to see any bird, much less a Scottish Osprey that was making a break in his migration in our Swiss lake.

I thought that I knew the Vallée pretty well, but I had never walked in the beautiful forest where apparently he had spent the last two nights. However, GPS is amazing and from Google Earth we were pretty sure that we had found the actual tree where Perky had roosted—a nice dead pine on a slope near a forest clearing. Thank you Forestry Service for leaving dead trees!

We then retired to the “Hotel de la Truite” (appropriately named after Osprey food) for a coffee, as it was hopeless looking for anything. There we were joined by Olivier Jean-Petit-Matile, an excellent naturalist and photographer who knows the Vallée de Joux better than almost anyone.

After we finished our coffee at 10am, the fog was beginning to lift so we returned to the lake shore where PY2 had been recorded a lot, and were suddenly greeted by brilliant sunshine and clear views over the lake. We took a few real postcard photos, but still no Osprey…

12 Lac de Joux 15sep17

8Lac de Joux facing Dent de Vaulion 15sep17

When the mist cleared.

9Loïc Stephan and Olivier looking hard for PY2 15sep17

The search for Perky.

Suddenly, at 10:55, we spotted Perky flying towards us. He then dived twice into the shallow water by the edge of the lake but both times his fishing trip was unsuccessful. So, we had seen PY2 and were delighted, even though he had been too far away to take a decent photo. He then disappeared around a bend and out of sight.

We walked a little closer to where he had been fishing, hoping that he would return. And we were lucky, since at 11:45, he again flew into sight, and then perched in a tree. Again too far away for a decent photo, but we got one through the telescope.

10Perky in tree Lac de Joux 15sep17 (1)

Perky in the tree (Wendy’s Photo)

Suddenly at 12:10, he soared up high over our heads and Olivier managed to take a great photo—you can even see his blue ring on the left leg.

11 Perky PY2 OJPM (2)

Perky flying over Lac de Joux (photo by Olivier Jean-Petit-Matile)

He then proceeded to fly to the southern end of the lake, where we saw him hovering over the little nature reserve located here, but it was a long way away. We jumped in the car to get to the end of the lake, but by the time we got there he had gone, so we don’t know if he had managed to catch a fish or not.

We hope that Perky heads off soon as it is definitely getting colder”.

14 Alpenhorn on ice 22jan16 (2)

Lac de Joux in January

13 People on ice 22jan16

Wendy’s photos of the Lac de Joux in January

We are really grateful to Wendy and her friends for looking for Perky and reporting the fantastic news back to us. The pictures of the area that Perky has made his temporary home really are wonderful. It is great to actually see photos of him on his first big adventure. We are most grateful to Valerie for making the connection with Wendy in Switzerland so that we could follow Perky’s journey so closely.

A trip to Geneva

Since Wendy and her friends spotted Perky, he has taken a day-long tour all the way down to Geneva where he was spotted spiralling high above the town with two buzzards. He didn’t stay long, doubling back to the Lac de Joux, He is still in this region and doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to move on south just yet.

Pinky does a U turn

Pinky, (PY1) is still in Spain and – like Perky – she has ventured south only to double back north to the Rio Agueda where she is making the most of a rich habitat and good fishing.

Follow the tracked ospreys progress ‘live’

You can now follow all of the tracked Scottish ospreys from 2017 on the Movetech website which is updated every 30 minutes to show their progress as they migrate. The Tweed Valley birds are numbers 631 (Perky) and 632 (Pinky). Please follow this link http://movetech-telemetry.com/

FK8 news

We still have no news of FK8 since her tracker stopped transmitting data. An expedition to search her usual haunts in Portugal will take place on 23rd September – we hope she’s there, even if her tracking device isn’t! (Mistakenly reported as 23rd March in previous blog – sorry).

Not moved on yet

> You can now track the ospreys’ movements live at this online map.

both journeys PY1 and PY2

PY1 (Pinky) in Spain and PY2 (Perky) in Switzerland

Pinky discovers river systems in Spain

The young female osprey, Pinky (PY1), has not resumed her full migration journey since finding her way to the Rio Huebra close to the border of Portugal in northwest Spain. After spending a couple of days along the river, hunting and building her strength, she began to widen her exploration of the area and on 8th September made a circular tour of 36km before returning to the familiar river. The next day she began to enjoy the Rio Aqueda river system and spent the night close to the dam over the river.  On 9th and 10th September Pinky moved on to another river, the Rio Yeltes; a beautiful area and a shallow river which looks to be good fishing for a young hungry osprey still honing her skills. Not bad, considering that just a few weeks ago she was relying solely on her parents to find food for her. Independence has certainly led to a steep learning for Pinky, but at least she has discovered an area of Spain that is rich in riverine habitat.

On 12th September Pinky pushed further on south, crossing the large lake called Borbollon before continuing further south to Coria and the Rio Alagon. She reached the river and made a sharp easterly turn towards the town on the south bank, where she once again crossed over a busy wide road at a dangerously low height. She then made an abrupt turn, heading back to the safety of the river.
Coria 12th Sept

Pinky crosses road and turns back to river

dangerous road crossing

Low flight across busy road in Coria

She is doing well, is in good surroundings and finding many river systems to exploit on her journey through Spain, so it’s not surprising that she doesn’t appear to be in much of a hurry. She has flown much further south than her brother even though she left a week later than him to start her migration.

Perky still in Switzerland

Meanwhile, we are amazed to find that her brother Perky is still at the Lac de Joux in Switzerland. He has made the north shore his home and takes trips along the shore, occasionally journeying to the other side of the Lake and then back to rest in a tree. No need to hurry for this laid back Tweed Valley chap! What young osprey wants to travel on further south when they have discovered paradise? As the days progressively shorten and as temperatures reduce a notch, he will know doubt be driven further southwards. In fact we have received news directly from Switzerland that the weather has turned bad, with high winds and heavy rain; a proper squally autumn blast! So rather than having a fine time at the Lac de Joux, Perky is more likely being held back by the conditions and waiting for some improvement in the weather before pushing south. We are waiting for news from Wendy Strahm, who co-ordinates the Swiss osprey reintroduction programme, who has kindly offered to go and look for Perky if weather permits.

Perky Lac de Joux

PY2 (Perky) Lac de Joux

No news of FK8 but the search is on

There is still no further data from FK8, but we hope she is ok and has made it to her winter quarters in Portugal. We are very grateful to Valerie Webber who has organised a search party for FK8 at her known roost sites near to the Barragem de Morgavel in Portugal. Hopefully she will be spotted there, safe and well. The way the data stopped so abruptly, we think her tracking device may have dropped off? The search is due to take place from 23rd September when she is expected to be settled in her preferred over-wintering area in Portugal (should she have made it successfully).
> You can now track the ospreys’ movements live at this online map.

Tweed Valley osprey journeys

Pinkys night flight

py1 and py2

Pinky and Perky’s journeys

PY1 flight path from the Bay to Spain

PY1 (Pinky) journey across the sea and inland at Spain

Last week we were very concerned about osprey Pinky (PY1) the young female bird on her first ever migration south. She had set off on 26th August and was making good progress, but the data ended after flying a staggering 388km in one day on 30th August. It was early evening when she reached the coast of the Bay of Biscay and that meant she was committed to making the full crossing of this dangerous and stormy sea in an all-night flight. Thankfully, she made it safely across after twelve hours of flight with no rest and no breaks.  After 456km, she reached the coast of Spain, arriving at Pendueles at 5.53am where she had a well-deserved rest in a tree. She rested for two hours and then, driven by hunger, flew into the steep landscape, over a busy motorway (just a few metres above the roadway) and over the hill to find the River Cares-Diva and some good fishing.

the dangerous road crossing for tired PY1

the pink line is her flight path across the  busy road into the hillside

She restored her energy and rehydrated herself with some tasty fish, preparing for the onward journey. After a welcome rest on 31st August she proceeded inland along the steep-sided valley of the River Diva and high over the mountains; possibly a ploy to use the upward thermals to ease her journey along and make flying less arduous. She then changed direction towards the south-west from the town of Cabuerniga. She spent the night at the River Carrion, where she made good use of the waters, fishing and resting. She then pressed on, in a south-westerly direction, until she reached the River Huebra and has since spent five days there in beautiful surroundings with a wide open river and good fishing.

Rio Huebra

Rio Huebra

River Huebra Spain PY1 location 5th Sept

Rio Huebra

 

Perky in Paradise

PY2 lac de joux

Lac de Joux

Pinkys brother, Perky (PY2), has made it down to Switzerland. It seems he likes this osprey paradise so much, that he has decided to stay. He has moved to Lac de Joux, a huge lake (the largest in the Jura massif) with a tiny rivulet leading to the smaller Lac Brenet – a place he has visited frequently. He has made home on the north shore and is moving north of the lake in the evening to roost in forests. The area is stunningly beautiful and perfect for a young osprey. Don’t get your hopes up though, young Perky… that lake freezes over so fast in the winter that people can skate across it! There will be no fishing for ospreys when this happens, so once he has built up his reserves he needs to travel on south to find some safe and bountiful winter quarters.

Lac do Joux summer

Lac de Joux – summer

Lac de joux winter frozen

Frozen Lac de Joux in winter

 

FK8 tragedy feared

It seems really empty without ospreys gracing the Tweeddale countryside now and there’s a real sense that autumn is here and summer has gone. The wheel of time turns and another summer rolls on, taking our lovely summer visitors with it. The forests are becoming quieter without the descending fluted notes of the willow warblers and repetitive chiffchaffs. The swallows are gathering on the telephone wires in chattering groups, just gearing up to go, while their close cousins, the swifts and sand martins, have mostly left our shores along with most of the house martins. It is on this rather morose line of thought, that the sad demise of FK8 comes to mind. After following every step of her life since hatching in Tweed Valley in 2014 – following her journeys to Portugal for wintering and her summer explorations of the north of Scotland, and high hopes that she would nest at Loch Slethill next summer – we now think it is most probable that something bad has happened to her. We have received no further data since she was last tracked flying beside the River Laita in Brittany on her way to the Bay of Biscay. We can only hope that the reason is due to equipment failure and that she too made a safe crossing over the sea to Spain and on to Portugal.

fk8 final journey

Last known flight of FK8 along River Laita in Brittany

Search for FK8

We are very grateful to Valerie who is asking her friend in Portugal to search the known roosting and fishing areas of FK8 in Portugal near to Sines to see if she has in fact made it and is safe and well. It could be that her tracking device has ceased working and she has made the journey back. We are keeping fingers crossed and remaining hopeful!

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

SUMMER

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.

Migration for PY2 too

Migration is in full swing now for ospreys as many are leaving the UK during August. FK8 made it down to good fishing grounds at Chew Valley Lake in England on 15th August, and has resumed her journey south and left the area, having spent two days there. She made the most of the opportunity to fish at the lake, rest and to build her strength ready for the next leg of her journey. She then left the area heading south to Wareham Forest, Poole Harbour and Arne Nature Reserve down in Dorset, where she spent a further three days, no doubt taking advantage of good fishing at the harbour there. She then followed the coastline along to Weymouth, then roosted overnight near to Exmouth close to the estuary.

 

Last place Soar UK for FK8

FK8 leaves UK from Soar in Plymouth at 14.24pm on 21st August

On 21st August, she headed further along the south coast to Soar near Plymouth, having covered another 266km since leaving Chew Valley Lake. She left UK shores near to the cliffs at Soar at 14.24pm on 21st August, to cross the channel to France. She arrived at Plouescat in France and continued travelling on to Lochrist near to Coray having covered 268 km since leaving the UK. We will receive the rest of her data from the journey as she continues south.

It is interesting to see that she didn’t cross the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay in a single journey this year. She is gaining in experience and since her return journey in the spring, which took her off course to France on her northern migration due to bad weather, it has given her knowledge that breaking her journey by coming through France is more favourable than a grueling long distance sea crossing.

south-coast-fk8[1]

FK8 route down through Dorset and along the south coast before heading out to sea

PY1 (Pinky) stays behind

The ‘back up’ nest number 2, young male Perky (PY2), has also started his migration, leaving his sister Pinky (PY1) behind. She has been seen on the nest via satellite camera eating a trout most mornings but we have not seen her parents. Her tagging data doesn’t show her visiting any water, so presumably she is getting fed by her parents. Although, it is quite likely to be her dad that is still around and her mum could have left by now.

PY2 (Perky) heads off to Germany

Perky away to Germany 19th August

Perky (PY2) headed out to the Northumberland coast and across the North Sea to Germany on 19th August

Perky reaches the coatof germany19th August

He took a rest overnight on reaching the coast of Germany in a moorland region west of Sahlenburg

Perky journey through Germany

On 20th August PY2 continued south through Germany

The more adventurous of the two siblings, PY2, has made amazing progress, leaving the nest and migrating at 6.36am on 19th August. He took a south easterly route out of Tweed Valley across the UK towards Alnwick where he left the UK shores from the coastal village of Boulmer at approximately 9.30am. He went straight over the North Sea to Germany, arriving at moorland north of Hamburg, 1.69 km from the town of Sahlenburg where he spent the night, before heading on in a south easterly direction at 5.10am.

He passed Hamburg, then on past Hanover, a further 102km since his overnight roost on 19th, to a place  to rest overnight on 20th August. The next morning, he was on the move again flying on to Brunswick then to Mühlhausen, for another stopover before setting off to an area beside a lake, near to the town of Niederdorla, having covered a distance of 249km since his previous roost.

It looks as though his journey is set to follow the flyway taken by the Swedish ospreys, so it will be interesting to see at which point he alters his course to a south westerly route. Weather conditions so far are favourable for our migrating birds. His sister is likely to set off any day now too, unless she is still being fed by her dad, in which case she might take advantage of that for a little longer, which is good, as she will be in tip top condition for the journey.

Last stop Perky at lake at Niederdorla, Germany

Perky finds a good lake to stop by near to the town of Niederdorla

SS and Mrs. O

The main nest has had the resident pair spending time there over the weekend, with SS bringing a fish in for the ever so loud Mrs. O. She spent most of Sunday keeping up a deafening din but was uncharacteristically quiet on Monday, with no sign of SS around. Could he have left on Monday? We shall keep watching the nest to see if he is still around and keep an eye on Mrs. O until she leaves.

Tweed Valley Osprey Project birds further afield

There have been more sightings of Tweed Valley Project birds, FXO, the bird that was seen at the River Severn has also been spotted back at Venus ponds in Shropshire where he was photographed back in the spring. He is a two year old male bird and maybe he has hopes to nest somewhere in the Shropshire region next summer, as he certainly likes to frequent the area.

IMG_20170730_111640

FX0 at Venus ponds in Shropshire. Photos courtesy of Helen Griffiths taken by J.P.Martin

IMG_20170730_111713

FX0

Another osprey of Tweed Valley origin is three year old male FK4, who has nested at Loch of Doon in Galloway this year.

Migration has started

Leaving Scotland FK8 12th AugFK8 in Redditch 15th Aug

The migration of the ospreys has begun! Tweed Valley born female FK8, who has spent the summer up in the Forsinard Flows region near Loch Slethill, left the area and headed south on 12th August, leaving Lochan na Saughe Glaise at 9.51am and flying 400km to roost overnight just south of Rochester near Otterburn. She stopped her journey at 18.55 having been flying at an average of 44.4km/hr.

At 7.30am on 13th August she headed off again, this time steering her course slightly westerly into the central English belt over Leeds and Birmingham, reaching heights of over 1500m in high density city areas and dropping back down to around 400m to 500m in more rural areas. She dropped down to about 160m altitude while scouting out a roost site, which she found in a stand of trees just outside of Redditch, having covered another 340km during the days flight.

After a good night’s rest she was away again at 7.12am the next morning and covered just 118km to south of the Bristol Channel to Bishop Sutton where she discovered Chew Valley Lake at 2pm and it would seem she caught herself a fish, as she left the water and headed into trees where she spent about an hour. She stayed in the area and roosted in a group of trees to the east of the Lake and moved during the early hours to another stand of trees nearby. Maybe she was disturbed or mobbed by birds for being the outsider raptor in the area and deemed a threat.

At 6am she flew back across to the lake and potentially was successful in catching a fish straight away because she flew back to the east and roosted in a ploughed field on top of a telegraph pole, presumably to eat her breakfast from 6.52am to 8.39am.

Her journey of over 890km so far seems to have slowed from here and she has stayed in the area during the 15th August, covering ground and traversing across the area but no direct movement further to the south. It is just a short distance from where she is to the English Channel.

When she has migrated previously, she has crossed the channel and then the Bay of Biscay to Spain in one crossing. She can afford to stay in the area and take her time to wait for the perfect weather conditions before making the crossing. We wish her all the very best for a continued safe journey and will follow her progress as she heads further south and hopefully back to Portugal where she has enjoyed the past three winters.

The full migration journey can seen below as a video.

Main nest Mrs. O and SS

a cheeky peck Mrs O

Mrs. O moves in for a cheeky peck of SS tail

Meanwhile, back at the main nest site in Tweed Valley, Mrs. O and SS are still there. With no young this year, we wonder why they are still hanging around. There is really no reason to stay any longer this season. However, perhaps like most animals they have their routines and if they are used to staying later then regardless of their lack of young, they will go at the time they are used to leaving and according to their own life clock.

Mrs. O predictably is still squawking away and she was not pleased to see SS fly onto the nest with no fish in his talons. He looked so fed up, he turned his back on her and she even had the audacity to have a little tug at his feathers on his back with her beak. Just a subtle reminder that she was there and was hungry in case his ears were deceiving him!

Eventually he turned around and started nest tidying. I hope he does realise the season is at an end; that nest looks ready for action and his mating attempts this week seem to suggest that he is hopeful that the bond between them will bring about results buoyed by this osprey optimism we can be sure to be saying farewell to them when they migrate shortly.

We will miss the dulcet tones of Mrs. O who is quite a character and has bonded with SS. They have remained a somewhat odd couple and hugely entertaining this summer with their antics and unusual behaviour.

Tweed Bird visits the River Severn

Birds which haven’t raised young are mostly making their way out of the country now, so we can expect birds form the Highlands to be passing through the area. One of the birds ringed at a nest site in the Tweed Valley project area in 2015 with leg ring blue FX0 was spotted at the River Severn near Build was on 30th July at 10.40am. This bird was from a brood of two and from the nest site where three adults were regularly seen and the third adult seen to bring fish in to the nest site. This has happened for two years running and is most unusual.

Watch FK8’s migration and other nest videos