The first fledge of an osprey chick in 5 years at Border Ospreys took place today just before 1400 when Blue 688 (Sasha) took off and made his first flight, landing successfully in the dead tree. He was joined there by his proud parents and I was able to get a family photo of them all together.
He had been helicoptering more and more enthusiastically yesterday and so it was clear that he was ready to take that huge step; today’s weather conditions of a light breeze and cooler temperatures made it an easy decision for him.
He was still in the dead tree when I left with the light levels dropping this evening and my hopes were dashed that I would see him fly to the nest when Samson brought a fish. Much to Juno’s disgust but Sasha’s indifference, Samson sat in the dead tree rather than bringing the fish to the nest…and ate the lot! From Juno’s reaction, I feel sure that he was going to be sent away to fish again before nightfall. Sasha seemed very confident sitting in the tree and was completely unconcerned about the interest of the local crows. Juno however, was determined that nothing was going to share the tree with her chick and she readily chased away anything landing in the vicinity, included two somewhat unfortunate wood pigeons who suddenly found themselves the centre of the attention of a aggressive female osprey and departed rapidly as a result.
The activity will now switch increasingly from the nest to the surrounding trees and area as Sasha will quickly gain more confidence and will start to explore and refine his flying skills. He will also start to practise fishing, an instinctive not taught technique. Samson will continue to bring fish in to feed him but Juno will start to fish for herself in the coming days and will build up her reserves as she prepares to leave on migration, her job of guarding the nest nearly complete.