UP AND AWAY

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.

From the left: Sasha, Juno and Samson

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.

Final rehearsals

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.

“Look, mum. One leg!” Sasha demonstrating his competence standing on a branch

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.

14 thoughts on “UP AND AWAY

  1. What a fantastic video of the helicoptering. I felt he was about to take off any minute! My poor swallows can’t do that as they’ve only got an inch between the top of the nest and the garage roof! One advantage of an open nest.

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  2. It’s so good to read the latest instalment Rosie and to know that Samson and Juno have raised Sasha with such skill. I’m sure they are very proud parents and you a proud ‘osprey granny’.

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    1. I am indeed although I still am so sad about the unfortunate accident that robbed us of the other chick. He looks super confident and is no doubt taking full advantage of his monopoly on fish deliveries.

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  3. So wonderful to get news and information about them like this Thank you. I’m a newcomer to Osprey life picking up a passion of my late deceased sister who avidly followed the the Dyfi project near Machynlleth in Wales. Thank you so much I, it somehow eases her loss knowing the eggs she was waiting for hatching befire she died , are now healthy and fledged and soon to return to Africa. May even pass above my house here!! Thank you so much

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    1. Welcome to the world of osprey watching, Marion. It’s not always an easy watch but it’s always fascinating and you’ll soon be an ospreyholic like the rest of us. I’m sorry to hear about your sister passing but I’m sure she’d be delighted to know of your interest. The ospreys sometimes dawdle on their way back south to Africa or the Iberian peninsula (where some go from the UK), so keep your eyes and ears open and you might get to see one in a local patch of water.

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  4. We were there yesterday morning and saw Sasha helicoptering and looking ready to fly – sorry we missed the real event! Samson had flown off at 9.30, and hadn’t returned when left after 2 hours, if he ate the fish he’d caught, how long do the others have to wait for food, and is it more difficult to fish fish in this dry weather?

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    1. Oh, what a shame you missed the fledge. I expect the fish he would have brought back on the morning trip would have been fed to Sasha, hence his indifference when the afternoon fish arrived…plus Juno’s annoyance as she was last in the queue to eat and she doesn’t do patience. He would have gone fishing again as a result of Juno’s food begging calls. The dry weather can be of benefit in that the fish congregate in parts of the rivers and lakes and that makes life easier but, if it’s hot as well, then they may swim lower in the water so that’s not so easy. So the weather we’ve been experiencing is a mixed blessing.

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  5. Sorry to have missed this activity. We visited onWednesday but only saw one bird perched on the dead tree. Typical! However Bramble enjoyed her first dip in the river.

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