Tweed Valley Osprey Project Officer Diane Bennett brings the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News the latest news from the nests...

THE early part of the week was a difficult time for the osprey family at the main nest, as the aftermath of the wild and stormy weather had left the rivers in spate and SS had clearly been struggling to fish for his family.

Last Wednesday (June 20), there were no fish brought in for the family to feed, Mrs O seemed distressed as the chicks were begging for food which she could not provide for them.

The chicks, at not much more than a week old, were feeble looking and weak.

They had little in the way of down covering on their bodies and their progress seemed to be in jeopardy.

By Thursday morning (June 21), the weather had taken a turn for the better and the rivers had begun to clear again and ponds were settling after so much silt laden water had washed into them from the feeder burns.

^Video credit: Rhona Anderson

This gave SS the opening that he needed to get back on top of his game and he did his family proud when he returned to the nest with a gleaming large trout at 10.47am.

Mrs O, took the trout from him and began to feed and in between mouthfuls for herself, she tore off strips to feed the stronger and larger of the two chicks.

She fed this little one until it was full and sleepy and then with still so much fish left, she turned her attention to the smaller one and began to feed it.

Eventually both chicks were full and were restful. SS took his portion of fish after his family were fed and satisfied.

Later that same day, SS returned with more fish and he was certainly making up for lost time.

He began to feed the youngsters himself while Mrs O was preening. The chicks were visibly stronger and more energised than the day before when they were hungry.

After the first chick was full it lay down on its side while the other chick fed and when it had had enough to eat, chick number one would get up and come back over for seconds.

The week progressed into warm weather and scorching sunshine and the chicks ranged from being sleepy and still, to being far too adventurous, toddling about the nest using their budding wings as little stilts to enable them to clamber around.

These little excursions led them to venture too far to the edges and the parent birds used distraction with fish to bring them away and back into the middle.

They also began to pay more attention to the nest construction, by moving sticks around and building up the edges, like little safety barriers to prevent any toppling over the edge.

Sadly, for one osprey family in the Borders, two chicks did fall to their death from the nest during the recent high winds.

But the attentive Mrs O and SS seem to have metaphorically red taped the danger zone by building stick walls just high enough to prevent any earnest climbing from a curious young osprey wanting to peer over the side.

By now, the young ospreys have grown stronger and the fluffy down is spotted with the onset of growing feathers.

They no longer look feeble and weak and their fortunes have rapidly turned around since the fish supply has picked up.

We finally have news of PX1 (Paxman's bird) whose satellite tracker alerted us to the fact that he had died in the north of Scotland near to the Helmsdale River.

The carcass and tag have been recovered and it seems that his neck was broken, we believe, from colliding into newly erected deer fencing along the side of a forestry plantation.

It is such a terrible shame to lose this wonderful, healthy, two-year-old male osprey.

Jeremy Paxman was very saddened to hear of the loss of this bird and we are very grateful to him for his interest and support for the Tweed Valley Osprey Project.

He has agreed that his involvement will continue in the future, through the tracking of further ospreys.

The volunteers for the osprey project were invited to attend the ringing of goshawk chicks this week in Tweed Valley Forest Park and they were privileged to witness them being fitted with red darvic rings with white letters of JP and PL, by Tony Lightley, after Eve Schulte climbed the fir tree to lower them to the forest floor.

Rhona Anderson took some great photos of these magnificent birds and she has also been filming pine martens in the forest.

The captured footage of the whole pine marten family together and the antics of the three little kits with their mum and dad can be viewed in the video above or at

Read the latest Tweed Valley Osprey News every week throughout the summer in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News newspapers