I wouldn’t normally expect to write another blog until the weekend but I thought you’d be interested to know that Samson attracted a fifth, and maybe even a sixth, female in the last couple of days and also had an unusual addition to the nest.
Now, I know there are several osprey nests that you can view on the web and some of them have high tech cameras with zoom, pan, infra red facilities etc. They can show you all sorts of wildlife that have visited the nests, including a pine marten and, in the States, even a bear that climbed up, but I am claiming a WORLD FIRST in that no one has ever photographed a croc on an osprey nest before! You think I’m joking? I’ve even got evidence of it arriving and moving around the nest!
To turn back to ospreys, JW6 seems to have got over the wanderlust that took her away from the nest for extensive periods (including down to Kielder) but she was absent on 27th when Samson came in with a pike, closely followed by a female carrying a trout. The weather was appalling with very poor visibility and it was difficult to make out who we had at first but it was certainly not JW6, being significantly darker. The excitement grew when we realised that she had a blue Darvic ring on her right leg, meaning that she was an English or Welsh bird, and we realised that it was KS1, hatched at Glaslyn in Wales in 2018, who also visited us in Aug last year. She and Samson sat and ate their respective fishes for nearly an hour but the peace was shattered by the return of an irate JW6 who landed in the nest and the three of them stood looking at each other wondering quite who would make the next move.
KS1 had dropped the half trout that she still had when JW6 arrived and JW6 took the opportunity to lay claim to it and she flew off to the dead tree and finished it off before flying back to the nest to evict the intruder. After a number of attempts to move KS1 by jumping on her with talons extended, JW6 eventually forced her from the nest and chased her from the area with Samson following to watch the action, like a match referee.
The following day, KS1 intruded again in the morning and was in the nest for about 20 minutes. Meantime, JW6 was dealing with another intruder and, at one stage we had 4 ospreys on screen; Samson and KS1 on the nest and JW6 and another unidentified intruder, battling in the skies. KS1 left of her own volition on that occasion but needed to be ousted at lunchtime by JW6 when she sneaked back on the nest as Samson brought a fish in. She appeared one last time, just before 6pm, being chased backwards and forwards by JW6 as Samson looked on from the nest.
Unsurprisingly, JW6 has not ventured far today (29th), and has been too edgy to allow Samson to mate with her (although she did do some stick collecting and nest rearranging) but it is very encouraging that she has defended her nest successfully from two intruders. We didn’t see any intruders while we were there today. It will do her confidence the world of good and perhaps she won’t be bothered further by those two at least. If she is not disturbed further by intruders it will probably now prompt her to allow mating again and then hopefully prepare for a family. I’ll let you know.