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This is a very exciting time for the Tweed Valley osprey project because one of the young satellite tagged ospreys has migrated. Talla (Darvic ring blue 671) from the main nest has left Tweed Valley and set off on the first migration of his or her life.

Having previously ventured no further than over the hills beside the forest and as far as the next valley, this young bird just took off on the morning of 26 August at approximately 9am, heading south. The first leg of the journey was across to Carlisle and then down to Liverpool, crossing the River Mersey into the Wirral and just into the tip of north Wales at a small area called Pontblyddyn. A well-earned overnight roost was made in a tree in a small copse. This first flight was a total of 283.56 km.

The next morning migration resumed, heading in a direct southern route across the border of Wales down to Newport, across the Bristol Channel, right across Devon, before bidding the UK farewell for this year and straight out across the English Channel. Talla left the UK shore at Challaborough Bay and arrived in Brittany at 9:30pm on 27 August. This leg of the journey, the second day of migration, was a total of 530.91km.

Early on 28 August, Talla set off again to the south of Brittany and at 1:30pm flew out into the Bay of Biscay. Talla made an incredible long flight right through the night, crossing the Bay of Biscay and then heading along the Atlantic adjacent to Portugal. At 3:46pm on 29 August, the bird changed direction and finally made a stop to rest 12 km inland. She finally stopped in a small plantation of trees, near a place called Tocha, and spent the next night there. The massive overnight flight covered a total distance of 1217.25km.

On 30 August Talla continued south through Portugal heading towards Lisbon, then did an about turn, heading back north and into higher ground and farmland, to spend an evening roosting in a tree beside a road in the district of A-do-Mourão. This overnight roost on 30 August is West of Tagus Estuary Nature Reserve on the River Tago (Reserva Natural do Estuariodo Tejo) and this is an important protected area for waterfowl and migrating birds. The largest wetland in the country and one of the most important in Europe. Talla has struck gold if she stays here!

It will be interesting to see whether Talla will make Portugal her overwintering home or continue to travel south to Africa. We will wait for more tracking data to upload and find out soon.

Meanwhile Talla’s sibling Megget is still in Peeblesshire and the tracker reveals that apart from going to the edges of the forest where the nest is and occasionally to the top of the hill, she has not been anywhere else. PW3, her dad, is still here and she is still receiving food. At least she doesn’t have to share any more, so all the fish coming in will have her fit and strong for when she does eventually migrate.

FK0 has been seen at the back up nest no. 3 with a fish on 27 August, so he is presumably still supporting offspring that haven’t left yet. The west of Peebles nest was seen to have two juveniles present too during the last week of August.

We have had good news that a Tweed Valley raised osprey is successfully breeding in Aberdeenshire with an unringed male. She is PY3 and she came from a Tweed Valley nest site in 2017 and she is thought to have raised three young ospreys this year.

Over at Kielder, a Tweed Valley osprey (blue ring 330) has been sighted at their nest sites yet again this week. She has definitely made Kielder her home this summer. This young osprey first appeared at Kielder around the same time as her brother visited this spring. She has repeatedly returned, whereas her brother has not been seen since and he has obviously moved on. 330 has tried out most of the Kielder nest sites for size, sitting on perches or landing on platforms and making herself right at home. We should call her Goldilocks after the fairy tale child that tries each bed in the three bears’ house. She also has beautiful golden coloured tips to the edge of her feathers too.