Tweed Valley Osprey Project Officer Diane Bennett brings us the latest news from the nests

Successful flight has been achieved by the main nest young ospreys this week, with the young male making his first flight and then over the next two days his sisters followed his lead.

On the hottest day of the year – July 25 – the three young ospreys were on the nest without their parents.

The male bird 302, was wing stretching and flapping quite a lot and then using the branch leading from the right side of the nest to gain some elevation.

The whole time he was curiously looking about him, while below him on the nest platform, 301 was also trying out the flight muscles and hopping with short lifts from one side of the nest to the other, with outstretched wings.

The third youngster was less keen and was keeping to the side, away from her siblings and not feeling tempted to any flight attempts of her own.

Then at 3.50pm on Thursday afternoon, 302 took a further step higher up the branch and made a tentative wing stretch, followed by some open winged testers and some left to right head sweeps, as he scanned the area.

All of a sudden, he was airborne and flew straight across the nest to the left and was gone. Meanwhile, 301 gazed skywards as though tracking his movement but 303 was not feeling brave and just hunkered down, not fancying her chances of a flight just yet.

Mrs O swooped in to her two daughters and joined them at the nest and she was alert and watchful, perhaps she too was watching her son's first flight.

The following day revealed 303, on camera, copying her brother's strategy and using the right hand branch to gain elevation and wing flapping before retreating back down to the nest.

Mrs O returned with a large mossy stick which for curiosity sakes meant that flying attempts were on hold for the time being.

Finally, on Saturday at 4pm, 301, took to the air for the first time, leaving only 303 behind in the nest. But by Sunday morning she too had joined the ranks of the fully fledged and flighted young osprey air team.

SS and Mrs O have done a wonderful job raising their brood this year and now the final stages of their work is almost done for this season.

We have fantastic news also, that the new nest site where two chicks were ringed last week also now has two successfully flying young ospreys and the amazing first take off and soar above the nest was caught on camera by Stuart Blaik, our very lucky volunteer who was viewing the whole scene from his home and captured the image on zoomed in camera.

In all, this season has been one of mixed blessings though with some disappointments at a few sites.

Out of a total of 14 osprey nesting sites checked this year, only seven were found to be successful. A total of 15 young ospreys have been raised and successfully fledged.

At three sites, the adult birds were present but they failed to raise young and at two of the sites, the ospreys had moved and left the site altogether.

Three of the nest sites had three chicks per nest, two sites had two per nest and two sites raised single chicks.

One of the sites which has also been consistently productive with two chicks for the first four years and then three chicks per year for the past six years, only raised one chick this year and leads us to believe that it is a change in one of the adult birds.

The adult male bird from this site used to be a particularly feisty bird which was not apparent at ringing time this year, so perhaps it is a new male bird, given that only one chick was raised and different behaviour observed.

The birds which moved from the back-up nest 2, to a new site of their own making were successful in raising two chicks, we don’t have a camera on the new nest so we cannot confirm the identity of the parents.

Sadly, one of the failures was the site where the ospreys chose the spindly larch tree to nest in, as opposed to the super artificial platform created in readiness for them.

The nest was found to be in a sorry state of disrepair, possibly due to storm damage and egg fragments were found below.

Three adult birds were present at the site. Most alarmingly though was the discovery of many tyre tracks from unauthorised motorised trials bikes which undoubtedly would cause disturbance and has been reported to both police and SSPCA as an ongoing problem within the forests.

This is the final week for name suggestions for the main nest young ospreys 301, 302 and 303 – two females and the male. Please send your suggestions to

We will announce the names selected next week.