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The main nest site for the Tweed Valley Osprey Project has a new male bird. His arrival as the replacement partner for Mrs O in 2020 was tinged with sadness after we lost White leg SS after 16 successful years nesting at this nest site; first with his original partner and then eventually settling down with Mrs O.

The new male has had a mystery identity for a whole year because we had been unable to access the camera to zoom in clearly during 2020. However, we are so pleased that during the recent training day for volunteers, we were able to zoom the camera in and record as the male arrived with a big fish for Mrs O who is sitting on 2 eggs.

We could freeze frame the footage and see for the first time that the leg ring number of the blue darvic is PW3. We have now pieced together his story and are delighted to reveal that PW3 is a home-grown osprey that fledged from a nest site in the Upper Tweed Valley in 2016 from a brood of three young.

On his first ever migration in September 2016 he was spotted fishing at some ponds 45 km southwest of Paris. He was also photographed before he journeyed further south to his new found wintering grounds. He then made a return to the UK in 2018 and was photographed at Blakethin Reservoir in Kielder on 25 June 2018. Three days later, back in the Borders, he was spotted at St. Mary’s Loch.

Last year the pair lost their three eggs just prior to the hatching date. It figures that PW3 as an inexperienced partner perhaps was not accustomed to defending the site from intrusive predators. We hope that he does better this year! All is so far on course for two eggs to be incubated and we are hopeful that chicks to be raised successfully.

Another nice twist to PW3’s tale is the fact that his sister, PW5, has also done well. She is now a breeding bird in Ayrshire, where she raised two young ospreys last year. She was also seen after migrating in 2016, when she was spotted at Langue de Barbarie in Senegal on 19 December 2016. John Wright, from Rutland, made a detailed painted sketch of her sitting on a piece of metal on the beach there.