Border Ospreys monitors an osprey nest located between Jedburgh and Hawick in the Scottish Borders and is based at Born in Scotland, a micro brewery, restaurant, shop and ginnery complex at Lanton Mill. Close to the banks of the beautiful River Teviot, a tributary of the River Tweed, it is an ideal spot for ospreys which are known to have bred here for well in excess of a decade. The present pair occupy a nest in a tall pine tree overlooking the river and also not far from a number of lochs so they have a variety of places to fish, irrespective of weather conditions and varying water levels.
Close monitoring of the nest and its occupants began in 2015 but, during the winter of 2015/16, the nest was virtually destroyed by a number of severe storms. It was decided that a man made nest would be built to replace the natural nest and a group of volunteers from a variety of places, including Scottish Power, worked to recreate the nest and provide a safer area in the immediate vicinity of the nest tree. At the same time, a camera was installed overlooking the nest and the picture was beamed onto a screen in the restaurant for customers to enjoy watching the family of ospreys. Chicks were reared and successfully fledged in 2016 and 2017 but the female from the nest was lost in 2018 and, although different females stayed in the summer of 2018 and both of the subsequent seasons, they were all too young to breed. It is hoped that last year’s female will return and be ready to breed in 2021.
The present pair are an unringed male, nicknamed Samson, who has been at the nest every summer since close monitoring commenced, and a female, ringed JW6 and hatched in the Lake of Menteith area, near Callander in 2018. We are hopeful that they will produce their first chicks together this year.
The monitoring is done by Rosie Shields, a local birdwatcher who also writes this blog, and Brian Clark, who visits each summer and it is usually his wonderful photography of the flying birds which graces the blog pages.
We hope you enjoy the blog and, if you get the chance, please come and visit us. The restaurant offers some of the comfiest and most mouthwatering accompaniments to the birdwatching of the nest available on the big screen, or you can take a walk down by the river and one of us is usually on hand to give you the latest updates from our viewing position. The river also is home to kingfishers, dippers and the occasional otter, as well as a host of other wildlife, so bring your binoculars and your cameras and we look forward to welcoming you.