Well, what a peculiar season this is turning out to be. Samson was a week later than normal in arriving and then spent a couple of days wandering around before settling down to do any repairs necessary to the nest. We then spent a long time waiting until it was clear that Freya wasn’t coming back. Then we got a female who seemed to settle down, only to disappear after a couple of days. The pattern then continued when, a week or so later, another female arrived and Samson launched into his, by now, well practised courtship display. She was clearly not impressed and only stayed for a few hours, not even waiting for a fish. Then finally, on Fri 24 May, another female arrived on the nest.
She obviously liked what she saw and immediately started food begging to Samson. He disappeared off to do her bidding (clever chap) and she moved to the dead tree where it became clear that she was ringed, but she was not Freya. She had polished off her second fish from Samson before she deigned to lift her feathers enough for me to read the blue Darvic ring KX7 on her left leg; a Darvic ring on that leg meant she was hatched in Scotland. I was able to submit the number and quickly received the response that she was a 2 year old bird and had been ringed at Tain, up in Easter Ross, on 4 Jul 17, not far as the osprey flies from where Freya had been ringed the previous year.
She stayed all over the Bank Holiday weekend, stuffing her beak with numerous offerings from Samson and declining his kind and frequent invitations to become “better acquainted”, so I felt confident to announce it on social media. The next day she’d disappeared! Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday passed and so, on Friday, I updated the same accounts that it looked like she’d gone but I hoped that she might return if she couldn’t find any better offers elsewhere. Saturday morning? You’ve guessed it. There she was, sitting on the nest as bold as you like! As I write this, she is still with us, which makes it 12 days since she first appeared.
So I’m not making any pronouncements about how long and if she’ll stay. She clearly reads social media and is out to countermand anything I say. So, she may stay or she may not. I’m hoping that last sentence will be sufficiently vague as to keep her here with us; time will tell. She is too young to breed (if I find an egg in the nest tomorrow, I really WILL eat my hat!) but, if she stays we can hope that she will bond with Samson and form a relationship that may result in our having a family to celebrate next year……or maybe she won’t! I’ll write more as the situation becomes clearer, assuming it does!
Thank you for staying with me on this one!
4 June 2019