The main Tweed Valley osprey nest is often empty now that the juvenile ospreys have fledged but they are never too far away from home. Megget (670) and Talla (671) have been fairly adventurous trying out their wings on flights around the forest but we can see from the tracking data that neither of them has ventured further yet. The greatest distance travelled so far has been by the bolder of the two young birds, Megget, having reached the plantation edge. Then on 29 July took, Megget too an afternoon flight of 1300 metres to the south eastern edge of the plantation before returning to the area close to the nest.
Talla is less bold in all manner of things, including feeding, always being the last to receive the fish and has so far only ventured a maximum distance of 400 metres from the nest.
PW3 has been bringing fish deliveries regularly for the young ospreys and on 30 July he was seen bringing a large trout to the platform with both youngsters waiting. It was Megget that took the catch and Talla was left watching as the fish was dragged to the side in Megget’s talons and eaten. PW3 does not hang around and after delivering the fish he promptly leaves.
On 31 July, Mrs O was at the nest with Megget and both had a fish each. There was a spare fish to the side, so clearly food is bountiful and this stands them in good stead for the coming migrations looming at the end of the season.
The young ospreys are able to feed themselves now and although they are not hunting for themselves, when a catch is brought in to the site by the adult birds, they take it into their own talons and handle it themselves, tearing strips off to feed.
We have had further exciting news from Kielder Ospreys, that Tweed Valley osprey 330 returned once again to one of their nest sites on 28 July. She has been checking out the sites around Kielder and struck lucky by being fed by one of the adults there earlier this summer. Her re-visit to try her luck again on 28 July turned up another surprise because while she was at the nest, another Borders bird arrived - a male from a ‘Born in the Borders’ nest site in 2017 with blue ring PY0. Could we have witnessed the start of a new pairing for next year with their sights fixed on Kielder as their residence?
Well, if it is a burgeoning new relationship, it was short lived, as a very disgruntled juvenile osprey (226) flew back to his home and dislodged PY0 who dived from the platform before 226 landed. The dramatic scenes were caught on camera and can be seen on the Kielder Osprey website at:
Meanwhile, back in Tweed Valley, 330’s parents were at their nest site with their brood on 2 August when an extremely unwelcome intruder appeared. A large buzzard came into the territory and female FS2 took to the sky to defend them. The male adult remained at the nest with the two young ospreys while FS2 engaged in a prolonged 10-minute sky battle with the buzzard. This involved much swooping and flashing of talons and aerial acrobatics. Diving and overflying to intimidate the intruder without any actual physical contact taking place. Talons could clearly be seen dropped and extended beneath the birds as they threatened each other. All of this was done as a display of power. Neither bird would want to be injured, so most battles are conducted through display, posture and threat rather than with real violence. However, in dramatic scenes of prowess, a triumphant FS2 drove the buzzard from their territory eventually. These apex female predators flexing their might is an awesome sight. They spiralled higher and higher, each one trying to position themselves above the other in an advantageous position in the aerial battle, with talons ready to strike if necessary. Once the buzzard had been forced away, FS2 returned to her territory and no damage was done.