This is the first blog by Rosie Shields for the Born in the Borders Border Osprey project. Please feel free to comment or ask questions … !
Delilah was the first back this year, arriving on the morning of 8th April, 6 days later than last year, just to keep us guessing. Then, with much relief, we turned on the camera the following morning, to see Samson sitting on the nest with her. Our birds were back!! They immediately and enthusiastically set about “re-establishing” their bond, so much so that we were concerned that we might have to install a curtain to draw across the screen to protect the more sensitive or younger of our guests in the restaurant! Samson also was keen to refurbish the nest to his taste after we had tidied it up earlier in the year and, by lunchtime on his first day back, already had a lemonade bottle, some baler twine and a plastic bag installed as soft furnishings; I’m really not sure about his home improvement skills.
Samson has already taken on fishing duties for the family while Delilah has been attempting to clear the local airspace of crows and jackdaws and others she considers nuisances, with varying degrees of success.
We have had a number of intruding ospreys visiting, most of whom have been quickly seen off by one or other of our birds, although we were recently privileged to watch a beautiful sky dancing display accompanied by constant calling from one intruder, keen to show their availability.
A complete lack of response from the nest meant that they left after about 30 minutes, disappointed and no doubt exhausted by their efforts.
Friday (21st) and Saturday (22nd) saw lots of grass being brought into the nest and enthusiastic egg cupping by Samson, scraping out a hollow in the centre of the nest with his feet.
Delilah spent the later part of the morning down on the nest, with a slightly distracted and strained air about her, and all the work was rewarded when, shortly after 2pm on the 22nd, she laid her first egg of 2017.
Both birds have been incubating the first egg, although Samson’s clumsiness keeps all us watchers on the edge of our chairs when they change over. The second egg is due within the next 24 hours, although with snow flurries crossing the nest every few minutes at the moment, she probably doesn’t feel like making the effort just yet.