Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Nearly ready to fly from the crowded nest.

Dad in the middle of the nest with his young family
 and Mum watches from the side branch.
The Tweed Valley Osprey chicks on the main camera nest have not flown yet. At the viewing centres, the on- screen antics of the birds limbering up ready for flight is super to watch.

We have witnessed many concerted wing-flapping sessions and valiant effort but lift-off has been achieved only briefly so far, rising from the nest and then straight back down again. The birds are well feathered and look physically ready to go but they are not in a hurry to venture out into the wider world just yet.
It's a bit of a squash !
While on duty, one of our volunteers, Iain Coates, made this observation about their flight practice:
"One knew what it was doing, another tried but didn’t quite have the rhythm and the third wasn’t really sure what it was supposed to do!"

When the whole family is at the nest it is a very crowded place now. The huge nest structure looks really small when occupied by the five family members together.

Survival against all the odds

The Tweed Valley Ospreys have done remarkably well to raise chicks to survive this summer of deluge and rivers mostly in a state of spate.

We have heard news of chick fatalities across the whole of the UK. Birds have simply not survived due to the cold wet summer and lack of food. One chick from each of the nests at Caerlaverock, Aberfoyle, Loch Garten and Kielder have been reported as having died in the nest; two chicks died at the Dyfi nest in Wales.

A final count up of all the osprey nest sites in the Tweed Valley has not been reported yet but we know that at least two of the nest sites have very good, healthy chicks ready to fledge. The parent birds are finding a good food source to exploit and this is looking very optimistic for the future of Tweed Valley raised ospreys.

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