I hope you will share my excitement and pleasure when I tell you that osprey leg ring numbered PY0, possibly better know to you as the middle chick, Walter, from Samson and Delilah’s 2017 nest here at Border Ospreys, was seen last Friday and again yesterday!
I had a message from my colleague just across the border at Kielder, Joanna, telling me that a male osprey had intruded on one of their nests and had been caught on camera. She sent me the short video clip of the 5 second intrusion and from it we could see the leg ring and worked out that it was PY0.
He is probably on his first trip north after migrating (probably to central west Africa) from the nest in 2017 and will be searching for a territory and a mate for breeding in subsequent years. The males often return to the area where they were hatched, so I will be keeping a close eye out in case he returns to Born in the Borders although, if he does so, Samson will chase him off and will not recognise him as one of his offspring. It is the first time we have had confirmation that any of our ringed chicks (ie. from 2016 and 2017) have returned, although I’m sure some of the chicks hatched in the years before we ringed will have successfully returned.
You might remember that Walter was the one who went out on the nest perch and then had a fit of nerves (well, it is about 130 feet off the ground!) and spent about 2 hours summoning up the courage to come back down the perch and into the nest. After that, he seemed slower than the other two to explore once they’d fledged and we were concerned that his reluctance might not bode well for his future. Well, what did we know?? I’m absolutely thrilled he’s survived the perilous first 2 years. His survivability chances will now increase substantially, so let’s hope he finds a mate and a territory nearby and continues the increase in population in the Borders of these magnificent birds.
PY0 intruded again on the same nest at Kielder yesterday morning, this time when the occupants were both away and spent a couple of minutes checking it out. Wouldn’t it be marvellous if he decided to stay for the rest of the season and then return next year to breed in the area?
16 July 2019