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This is just a very quick blog as I promised to let you know when we had news to give you.
Chronologically, our first bit of news was that our young female KX7 was most probably sighted on 21 Dec in Senegal by two ornithologists (Bram Piot and Frederic Bacuez) out there and Frederic kindly sent me a long-distance photo he took of her.
Initially, they thought her ring number was XX7 but, as that number has not been designated, the closest to that was KX7, and certainly, the head feathers in the photographed bird resemble those of KX7. My thanks to them both for letting me know and providing the photograph. It was good news to know that she had survived her southbound migration and was clearly doing well, as the large fish she was enjoying showed.
We then waited, impatiently as normal, for the Spring. The influx of birds started well and several appeared to be arriving earlier than in previous years but then the weather deteriorated which seemed to hold them up. Over the last few days, it has cleared and there has been a flood of birds arriving back at their nests. The lockdown restrictions have made life difficult for many observers across the country and we have been lucky to be close enough to our nest to be able to take our daily exercise along the river, although we miss being able to spend the amount of time there as we have done previously. I received two reports of a possible osprey being seen on 4 Apr but we could not confirm them. The following day, KX7 appeared on a nest at Kielder, food soliciting with another intruder female from the rather confused male on the nest.
However, their efforts came to a rather abrupt halt when the resident female arrived home from migration. KX7 wasn’t seen by anyone back at her home nest but did make another foray onto the same nest at Kielder the following day, managing to steal half a fish before she was chased off by the female. I love this picture of the irate resident female (centre) arriving back at the nest too late to prevent KX7 from beating a hasty retreat (right) while the male from whom she stole it (left) looks sheepish! Apologies for the condensation on the camera lens.
However, what she probably didn’t know at that stage, was that Samson arrived “home” the same morning and, having caught a fish, proceeded to eat it and then immediately started doing repairs to the nest. He has been busy ever since and has added lots of sticks and bits of mud etc and has dug out a nice cup in the middle ready for the eggs to nestle safely. All he needs now is for KX7 to return and settle down!
We haven’t managed to see her yet at Border Ospreys but, hopefully, she and Samson will meet up and she won’t feel the need to wander too far again. A steady supply of fish might help cure her wanderlust, Samson!
We will do the best we can, during this lockdown period, to monitor what is happening on the nest. The government has said everyone must stay at home apart from strictly limited occasions. Sadly, this means we have to ask you not to come to Border Ospreys. The site does remain closed while the Coronavirus restrictions remain in force. We will keep monitoring the situation closely and will advise you when it changes. Thank you for your forbearance and stay safe.
7 April 2020