Diane Bennett, project officer at the Tweed Valley Osprey Project, brings us the latest news from the nests...


It has been an incredibly exciting week regarding the three main nest osprey juveniles this past week.

On August 25 all three began to migrate which in itself was unusual as normally they go around the second week of September and they usually set off at different times, sometimes a day or two apart.

This year though our ospreys are deciding to rewrite osprey behaviours for the text books and are giving us a lot to think about.

Tweed was the most adventurous and set off about 11.30am and headed south and travelled to the Wales-England border near to Whitchurch where he spent the first night in a tree close to the Iscoyd and Fenns cricket club in Redbrook near to Whitchurch.

He had flown a distance of 202 miles which was pretty good going for the first leg of the migration.

He continued south through Wales the next day for a further 109 miles to Tonmawr where he made a brief visit to the River Polenna before heading into a plantation forest to roost for the evening.

On August 27 he headed further south and reached the Bristol Channel at midday, crossing over to Ilfracombe, then he flew right down through Cornwall to Penzance and left UK shores for the final time and flew straight out to sea.

Tweed Flew 850 miles to Portugal from Penzance Bay.

Long periods of the journey were just above sea level.

The last 45 miles was just above the water as he flew into Marinha Grande 80 miles north of Lisbon.

This was an astonishing journey over two nights at sea with no stopping points that we can determine from the data unless he perhaps stopped on a passing ship.

He arrived at 4am and rested near to the shore by houses before moving to some trees to continue to rest later that morning.

On August 29 he surprised us yet again by heading north instead of south and went to the Mondego River near to Santa Varao where he has been tracked at many points on the river before roosting overnight on the south bank where he was last tracked at 9.30am, August 30.

Hopefully he has fed and rested and is ready to set off south again.

Kirk left Peebles on August 25 also and headed south to Loch Esk where he spent the first night.

Not a very great distance for the first leg of his journey but he made up for it the next day.

On August 26 he crossed the Solway Firth, flew over the Lake District National Park and down to Merseyside where he flew inland across the whole city at an altitude of 411m high and travelling at 61km/h at 9pm at night.

He then crossed the River Mersey by John Lennon Airport and flew into Cheshire where he finally found a place to roost just north of Delamere Forest.

He was roosted so close between two massive overhead electricity pylons but thankfully he negotiated his way around them the next morning and proceeded with his migration through Wales and then across the Bristol Channel and Devon.

We then had a lag in data and had to wait to find out what had happened. We presumed that he had gone straight out to sea just like Tweed.

His journey changed course dramatically as he must have hit bad weather at sea and turned around and arrived in Ireland just south of Cork at 2.30pm on August 29 having been out at sea since 4pm the previous day.

He rested for an hour near to Shanagarry before heading north to Ballingarry where he has spent the night in a small copse of trees. Hopefully after some rest he may re-orientate himself and start again on a southward journey.

Glen, the third osprey juvenile also tried to migrate and left the same day as his two brothers, however after an away day to Cumbria and a flight out into the Irish Sea and two nights roosting in different places, he returned home to Peebles and is back at the nest and getting fed by his dad again.

Ospreys never cease to surprise us and throw any predictions and assumptions that we may make about how they are going to behave out of the window.

We can certainly see trends and patterns of behaviour but there will always be individuals that will do something to buck those trends due to circumstances and environmental variables and the birds’ reactions to deal with them.

I think that we will always have more questions than answers and that is what makes studying them so very interesting.